The Sea-Man's Vade Mecum, 1707.

The Duty of the Clerk, Pilot, Mate, Surgeon and Sea-men of a Ship, according to the Custom of France.

The Duty of the Pilot.

No Person shall be received Pilot, nor perform that Function, till he has made several Voyages, and been examined in Navigation, and found capable and experienced by the Professor of Hydrography, two ancient Pilots, and two Masters of Ships in presence of the Officers of the Admiralty.

2. He that would be received Pilot, shall be obliged for proving his Voyages to produce the Journals, at his Examination.

3. The Pilot shall direct the Course, and shall provide himself Maps, Ruttiers, the Astronomical Instrument called Jacob's Staff, Astrolabes, and all other Books and Instruments necessary for this Art.

4. In long Voyages he shall have two Journals, in one of which he shall write the Changes of the Courses and Winds, the Days and Hours of the Changes, Leagues which he believes the Ship has sailed in each, the Reductions in Latitude and Longitude, the Variations of the Compass, together with the Towns and Shores he has discovered. And in the other he shall write out clean once in four and twenty Hours, Courses, Longitude and Latitude reduced, and Latitudes observed, and all other remarkable things discovered during the Voyage.

5. We furthermore enjoin him at the Return of long Voyages, under pain of fifty Livres. to put a Copy of his Journal in the Office of the Admiralty, of which the Clerk shall give him a Certificate without and Fee.

6. If there be no Clerk, the Pilot shall be obliged, if required by the Master, to take an Account of the Goods brought on Board, and to make the Inventories of the Effects left by Persons during a Ship-board, which shall be signed by the Master, and two of the principal Mariners.

7. If a Pilot by Ignorance or Negligence, occasion the Loss of a Ship, he shall pay one hundred Livres Fine, and be for ever deprived of the Exercise of a Pilotage; and if he does it designedly, he shall be punished with Death.

8. No Masters of Ships shall force Pilots to pass through dangerous Places, and to steer Courses against their Will; and in case of Contrariety of Opinions, they shall be governed by the Advice of the most expert Mariners.

[pp 135-136]

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.