To Prosper and Thrive, you needed brave men to venture out.
And when men braved the oceans and ventured out to lands unknown, they became legendary. Who hasn't heard of a Christopher Columbus, a Marco Polo or
a Vasco da Gama. But who has heard of Juan dela Cosa, Anton de Alaminos, or Ahmad ibn Madjid. These were the men who showed the legendary navigators the way. their pilots. No matter where you came from the danger lurks when the waters narrow. When a ship would reach the coast, the captain would wait at anchor where he thought it was safe. He would wait there until the natives came out in their canoes and helped the ship to harbour. These, the last leg of the voyage, potentially the most dangerous and challenging, cannot be completed without help. If you needed to make this passage, you needed pilots. Without pilots, there would be no shipping. Without shipping there would be no viable commerce. There are references to pilots in texts as ancient as the Holy Bible. Once self employed, fiercely independent and mutually competitive, piloting is now what I think is an organised service to the community. I knew nothing about the history of pilotage. I still don't. I happened to speak with Rajesh a week or so ago. HE has been a pilot with a major Indian port and has over 7000 hours of pilotage experience. The conversation got around to his profession and its history. This got me interested. I invited him to come have a conversation here on Even Keel so you could hear his story.
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