Distance between Barracks and the Submarine dock

There seems to be a lot of questions about the location of the submarine dock, especially with respect to the location of the barracks.  Many viewers are under the impression that the submarine dock is very close to the barracks.  This may very well be correct, but TheLOSTmap has to show locations where our methods of locating items would place it.
TheLOSTmap shows the dock to be a few miles away from the barracks.  Although TheLOSTmap does show a mountain between the barracks and the dock, we believe that there is either a pass through this mountain, or more likely, this mountain has been destroyed/removed.  Either way, we believe there is a well-traveled path between the barracks and the dock without any major climbing. It’s probably a 60 ft gradual drop from the barracks to the dock.

We are constantly questioned about this so we decided to address this question on this blog. It’s simply easier to answer this question once, and then just reference it.

We are not trying to convince anyone that our locations are proper, they very well may not be. We are just to defend why we believe the distance between these two locations may be further than the show implies at times.

There are four items that are very important to keep in consideration when discussing the merits/demerits of placing the submarine dock (dock) and barracks at the distance we did.

A.                 The view of the barracks in episode 03x01 “The tale of Two Cities”. This view clearly shows the barracks to be landlocked.
B.                 The cabling map Sayid uncovered in episode 03x12 “Par Avion”. The cabling map, as well as the map supplied in the Dharma Initiative Initiation Kit (Blu Ray extra), shows that the barracks are completely surrounded by sonic barriers, placed approx. 20 ft apart.  These maps do not show the dock within the sonic barrier.
C.                 The view of the submarine leaving dock in episode 05x15 “Follow the Leader”. This view clearly shows the submarine leaving the dock and traveling into the open ocean. Therefore the dock must be located on the coast.
D.                 There is a small boathouse seen in episode 04x04, “Eggtown”, we believe this be outside of the sonic barrier but fairly close to the barracks. We believe the boathouse lies on a small lake and may have a small dock, but this boat house/dock is not the same as the submarine dock.  The position of the boathouse has little to do with the distance between the barracks and the submarine dock.

The following are various scenes that involve both the submarine dock and the barracks. We also included links to  relevant screen shots for every scene.  If anyone can think of other substantial scenes that are not included, please let us know. After each scene, we provide an explanation of why we believe the dock and barracks are not in very close proximity.  A conclusion follows at the end.

1.  One of Us 03x16

Juliet arrives at the dock. Ben meets Dr. Burke (Juliet) at the submarine dock. They travel to the barracks off camera.

Explanation: There really is no explanation required, as the audience does not get the impression either way as to the relation between the dock and the barracks.

2.  The Man From Tallahassee 03x12

Kate, Sayid, Locke, Mikhail and Rousseau travel from the Flame to barracks in order to rescue Jack.  As they are traveling toward the barracks, they must travel over the sonic barrier by using a tree branch. Mikhail is left for dead at the sonic barrier. Rousseau leaves the group once they have view of the barracks.   Locke captures Ben within his barrack while Sayid and Kate are captured as they try to infiltrate the barracks.  Locke has Ben direct Alex to bring Sayid’s satchel of C-4 back to him. After Alex brings the satchel back, Locke instructs Ben to have Alex direct him towards the submarine dock.  Alex does this. One scene we see Alex and Locke leaving the Barracks. The next scene we see them approaching the submarine dock.  At the submarine dock we see that Rousseau has followed them in secret.   We have to assume that off camera Alex powers down the sonic barrier so that Locke and her can pass, as well as Rousseau, although Rousseau must have done it in secret.   Locke blows up the submarine just as Jack and Juliet were preparing to use it to leave the island.

Explanation:  The travel to the dock from the barracks does not show Locke and Alex passing the sonic barrier. Because this scene is not shown, it is possible that the rest of the travel is not shown simply for time/editing purposes.

3The Man Behind the Curtain 03x20

Ben, as a child, enters the island via a submarine with his father. They meet Horace Goodspeed at the submarine dock. There are Dharma vans at the base of the dock. These vans are ostensibly used to transfer people from the dock to the barracks for initiation.   We do not see the travel of people at the dock to the barracks.

Explanation: Although we do not see or get any implication of the travel between the dock and the barracks, the fact that Dharma vans are there implies the vans are used to ferry people from the dock to the barracks. This suggests a substantial distance between the dock and the barracks.  

4.  Namaste 05x09

Ben, Frank, and Sun are on the Hydra beach where Ben uncovers three (3) hidden outriggers.  Although Sun asks Frank to come along to the main island, Frank responds that as captain of Ajar 316 he has a duty to his passengers.  Ben tells Frank “There’s a small dock about a ½ mile due south, directly across the water. It leads directly to a town where I used to live.  There are resources there…” Ben is knocked unconscious by Sun with an oar. It is daylight.

Off camera (Assumption)- Sun and Frank carry Ben to Hydra’s infirmary. Frank attends to his passenger’s needs as captain. When Frank is satisfied he has fulfilled his immediate duties, he and Sun travel to the Main Island.  It may be dark when they leave Hydra.

On camera- It is dark when Sun and Frank arrive at the Main island’ submarine dock via an outrigger.  Sun and Frank hear rustling in the brush at the dock that appears to be the smoke monster. The next scene they are at the barracks.

Explanation:  The travel to the barracks from the dock does not show Sun and Frank passing the sonic barrier. Because this scene is not shown, it is possible that the rest of the travel is not shown simply for time/editing purposes.

5 Dead is Dead 05x12

Locke and Ben uncover one of two remaining outriggers at Hydra. After Ben kills Ceaser they travel to the main island via the outrigger (Daylight). They arrive at the submarine dock and moor directly in front of the outrigger Sun and Frank had previously used. Locke and Ben arrive at the dock in daylight and reach the barracks at nightime.

Explanation:  Locke and Ben leave the dock for the barracks in daylight and arrive at the barracks at night, suggesting a substantial travel time between the dock and the barracks.

6.  Follow the Leader 05x15

Hurley gets food from the barracks kitchen to further his, Miles, and Jin's  escape the Barracks to the beach camp. They are followed and stopped by Dr. Chang close to the barracks.  Questioned by Dr. Chang they admit they are from the future and convince Dr. Chang the island must be evacuated.  Dr. Chang returns to the barracks to start the evacuation. The people from the barracks then begin their evacuation toward the submarine dock. Hurley, Miles, and Jin spy people arriving at the dock through binoculars.  Dharma vans are used to transport people with luggage from the barracks to the dock.  Sawyer and Juliet are also transported to the dock via a jeep, although they do not have any luggage.  The submarine leaves the dock into the open ocean.  This means the dock is on the coast.

Explanation: There has to be substantial amount of time between Dr. Change leaving Hurley, Miles, and Jin and going back toward the barracks to announce the evacuation and people arriving at the submarine dock to leave the island.  This amount of time would explain how Hurley, Miles and Jin were able to leave the immediacy of the barracks and reach the vicinity of the dock and view the dock through thru binoculars (even then they were not that close). Also, people were ferried from the barracks to the dock via Dharma vans, which would suggest a substantial distance, although they had luggage.

7.  What Kate Does 06x03

Kate leaves the Temple in pursuit of Sawyer. Kate finds Sawyer at his barrack as he takes up a floorboard to uncover a ring he was going to use to propose to Juliet. Kate follows Sawyer to the dock, where Sawyer throws the ring into the ocean. Kate points with her finger and asks, “That was your house, right, with Juliet?Sawyer answers yes.  Sawyer tells Kate she could probably make it back to the Temple by nightfall. Instead, Kate follows Sawyer back to the barracks and fills up her canteen. They don’t speak. Jack and Hurley see Kate on their way to the Lighthouse later the same day.

Explanation: The explanation of  Kate pointing and making the remark “That was your house, right, with Juliet?” probably has more to do with Kate pointing in the general direction of the barracks then Kate pointing at a specific barrack.    This may be the reason why viewers assume that the barracks are very close to the dock.
The reason we think that Kate would point (she did point in a particular direction) and make her comment is in the context of her and Sawyers trip. We have to take their part of the whole episode in context.  We have to realize that Kate just followed Sawyer from his barrack to the dock.   It is likely that Kate was directing her attention the barracks they had left when she pointed and made her remark “That was your house, right,  with Juliet?” rather than pointing at Sawyer's specific barrack and asking the question.  There is dense jungle between the dock and the barracks, so it would be impossible for Kate to point at a specific barrack, but rather in the general direction of the barracks.

Even if the barracks were adjacent to the docks, if would have been impossible for Kate to point to a specific barrack due to the dense jungle surrounding the dock.  Viewers have seen plenty of footage of the dock. Not once has their been a scene of the dock which even suggested a view of the barracks.  It seems unlikely that Kate could have been pointing to Sawyer's barrack.

 You also have to take into consideration that we never did see them pass the sonic barriers  traveling either to or from the dock, so that would imply that we didn’t see the whole travel, so it may be a combination of time/editing and the context of Kate's remark.

As we said, these are explanations based on various scenes involving both the dock and the barracks.  These explanations are of why we believe the barracks and the dock are not adjacent to each other. There are other  scenes and logic (very unlikely to have an underground cavern system below the barracks if you are at sea level) which also support this position.

We are not trying to imply that the barracks and the dock locations are exact, we are only trying to justify the distance we place between them.


Anonymous said...

Great work here. I appreciate that you identified the pieces of evidence that come across as a stretch, particuraly the whole bit with Kate and the pointing in 6x03. For me at least I never believed the dock to be within the sonic barrier, but I think the biggest gripe people have is the distance. The biggest problem is the overhead shot in 3x01 that shows a mountain bw the barracks and the ocean. I don't buy the whole deal with mountain passes etc. The journey looks very far from overhead and so the distances traveled by the characters is problematic. For example - would Kate follow Sawyer on an hour + walk through the mountains to have a < 5 min talk at the dick only to turn around ?

I also think the lake boathouse has to be close to the dock. The 3x01 overhead showed no lake - and the boathouse shot does make it appear large enough that it would be shown. In that case would Locke really keep prisoner Miles that far from under his nose if the lake was really part of the same body of water the sub dock is on? Would he really send Hurley on hour walks to bring lunch ? If you disagree where do you place the lake on the map ? ~~~~LEHLegacy

TheLostMap said...

Saywer walked to the dock to throw his engagement ring into the ocean. Why Kate followed him (she did follow him, not travel with him) to the dock is because she wanted Sawyer to know why she came back to the island and her search for Claire. Just because the conversation is short does not make it unimportant.

As far as the lake is concerned, it's very possible that the lake is very small would be hidden by trees
in the 03x01 shot.

Anonymous said...

The distance is still fairly unreasonable unless the mountains have a passage (my best guess is an access road considering the vans).

But I can see how the dock definately isn't within the sonar fence ring. It's been a while since I actually watched to 3x01 scene of the crash, but from what I remember there was not much you could discern of the Barrack's location, considering the elevation of the breakup shot.

Anonymous said...

Hey LostMap - LEHLegacy here again. Curious what your thoughts are on the events in the most recent episode "What They Died For". Zoey leaves Ben's house ant literally less than 1 min later she radios back to Widmore saying she's spotted Locke as he approaches the dock. Now I know she's using binoculars, but there's no way she could see him that quickly through the mountains. I next though maybe it's this mysterious Barracks lake we've considered but that presents 2 problems. First there would then have to be some canal that takes you from the inland barrack to the ocean that Locke used. 2nd the lamposts that are in disrepair look like the same ones found at the sub dock. I'm still in belief that the barracks are very close to the ocean and that 3x01 overhead shot is in error

TheLostMap said...


I haven't had time to really study that episode, but where I call out the pass through the mountains is probably 1/2 mile long. I don't think there is a mountain between the barracks and the dock. I'm not sure how much time actually elapsed (1 minute of show really does not mean much). The real problem in the last couple of episodes is timing. To wrap up the show, they had no time to add scenes that would account for time.

It took Ben, Richard and Miles 3 days to get from the back Rock to the barracks.

They just don't have time to give Ben, Richard, and Miles something to do because they are so pressed for time to wrap up the show.

Hope this makes some sense,


Choekaas said...

Since season 3 I've been thinking about this. In the end I said to myself that the overhead shot in "A Tale of Two Cities" was fake, and I created a shot in my head that is different with lakes and more grassy areas where we can almost spot the sonic fence.

But this explanation is the best! Thank you. It also makes sense with the boat house. Why is the topography so different at the boathouse and the dock. Because they are at different locations. The river is very plausible since there is a river in the cabling map and we saw a river next to The Flame.

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TheLostMap said...

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