.:Portuguese Aldeia - Agência de Internet 
The first official pilot in Rio Grande do Sul was Gaspar Santos, sent by the Brigadier Silva Paes to discover sand banks and channels in the bar of Rio Grande, where he, later on, remained serving as a pilot.

The pilotage navigation on Laguna dos Patos starts to be mentioned from 1750 on, when General Gomes Freire de Andrada became responsible for taking the troops and preparing the land for the arrival of the Azorean immigrants. Gomes Freire believed that the most logical waterway for the distant Missions would be to break through Rio Grande bar, go up Laguna dos Patos and from there to move towards the west on Jacuí river. However, from the beginning, he has been informed about the difficult conditions for the pilotage on the lagoon, because there was not a navigation channel among the treacherous sand banks. In 1795, the pilots of the bar already had a small scull that went and came through the bar, signalizing the level of the sand banks to the vessels that went to the port of Rio Grande.

On the 15th of November of 1802 the positions of head pilot for the ports of Pará, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro were created, and the preference fell upon the Portuguese who have already carried out the job in Lisbon. In Rio Grande do Sul, this function belonged José Francisco Rosa, at the expenses of the Governor of the Capitania. In 1803 the position passed to Francisco Marques Lisboa, father of Joaquin Marques Lisboa (Fleet Admiral Tamandaré, protector of the Navy). In January 1808, the regal letter of Dom João VI, which opened the Brazilian ports to friend nations, created, the position of pilot with a Decree, signed in June of the same year.

Foto: Geraldo Almeida
Lighthouse of Itapuã

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