PREPARATIONS for the expedition which is about to be despatched by the Admiralty for the purpose of dredging, sounding, and otherwise scientifically investigating, the deep sea, have been for some months past in active progress, and are now rapidly approaching completion. The vessel set apart for the purpose is H.M.S. Challenger, a main-deck corvette of 2,306 tons, now lying at Sheerness. Her commander is Capt. G. S. Nares, R.N., well known as the author of a valuable work on seamanship, greatly in use in the Royal Navy. Capt. Nares has seen a great deal of active service, including exploration in the Arctic regions, and he has left the charge of the Survey in the Gulf of Suez for the purpose of taking charge of the present expedition. Second in command is Commander J. P. Maclear, R.N., son of Sir Thomas Maclear, late Astronomer Royal at the Cape of Good Hope, who has also seen a great deal of service in various parts of the world, and whose name is familiar to our readers from his having taken part in the Eclipse Expedition to Spain, and also in that to Ceylon. Commander Maclear will undertake the magnetic observations, which will form part of the work of the Expedition. The other naval officers are-1st Lieut, Pelham Aldrich; 2nd Lieut, Arthur C Bromley; 3rd Lieut., George R. Bethell; Navigating Lieut., Alfred E. Tizard; Sub-Lieutenants, H. C. Sloggett and Lord George Campbell; Pay-master, R. R. Richards; Chief Engineer, James H. Ferguson.