.:Portuguese Aldeia - Agência de Internet 
The records of our civilization that illustrate the man traveling on the water prove the confidence in the skills of the pilot to guarantee the passage of vessels near the shore. The pilots have been mentioned since the remote times of Abraham, around 4000 years ago, in the city of Ur (Chaldea). The Holy Scriptures (27, Ezekiel), makes reference to, "… your scholars, oh Tiro, have been your pilots… ", the pilots and to their role of assisting the ship along the shore. The pilots were named LODEMAN, an expression that means "guide man", because they were experts in the use of the "lodestone" or "waystone", a magnetic ore known as magnet, a primitive kind of compass. With it, the pilots were able to find the magnetic North. The word pilot comes from the Dutch: PIELON (to investigate); LOGO pilot; and LOOT, depth direction.

Since the beginnings of our civilization, the pilot job has remained relatively unchanged. Nowadays, they provide the same critical evaluation and are familiar with the interaction land, sea, and meteorological conditions, whose elements are continuously changing. These changes have been followed by the pilots since the dawn of our history. The explorers understood their need for the pilots and, frequently, took them on their trips. Both Marco Polo and Vasco da Gama have used the services of Arabian pilots. These pilots showed an advanced knowledge of navigation and have used sophisticated equipment, such as "al kamal", precursor of the "octant" and “sextant”, in order to determine the latitude of the vessel’s position.

Mariners from different parts of the world showed many specialized skills. The seamen from Mediterranean, for example, were remarkable. Genovese and Venetian very prominent due to their navigation skills. Water charts of the New World reflected an Italian and a Majorcan-Jewish influence. When Christopher Columbus anchored in the tiny island of Conceição, after crossing the unknown western region of the Atlantic Ocean, he had "Juan de la Cosa" as his head pilot. This same pilot also traveled with Columbus in his second expedition as cartographer in charge. "Spaniards" caravel, that explored the coast of the North Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of Florida, brought one of the first pilots, identified as "Anton de Alaminos", who not only offered his experience along the extensive coast, but also helped to discover the Gulf of Mexico current. Knowing this current and the movement of sand banks was very important for the safe navigation of vessels through reefs and channels, and has offered them the chance of knowing more about the navigation in restricted waters and ports.

Around the year of 1500, the Spaniards influenced the navigation from Spain to the Caribbean. The first and most important Spanish government was Santo Domingo, La Hispaniola. Later Havana, Cuba, became the center of the Spanish regional government. San Juan (Puerto Rico) followed as an important center, too. During that period, the service for the areas under the control of Spain was shipped from there. There were stops from St. Augustine to St. Helena, where the local pilots embarked with the purpose of directing their vessels.
The pilots organized around a Pilotage association only in 1515, in Great Britain.


© Copyright - Praticagem da Lagoa dos Patos - por Aldeia.
Todos os direitos reservados.