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The World of Pilotage Under Sail and Oar
The first volume of Pilots concentrated on the stories of American and British schooners. Volume 2 enters what for many will be a less familiar world... that of the remarkable pilot brigs and the small undecked craft.
Schooners range from the Hiates of Portugal to the beautiful station boats of the North Sea ports of Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and France. The development of the schooners themselves into such highly sophisticated craft as the Orphie of Dunkirk is traced from regional predecessors typified by the Dunkirk Korver and the Rinkelaar from The Netherlands.
Volume two is not just about boats – the sailors also have their role. The book follows highly difficult maneuvers under sail, dangerous transfers at sea, the routine of everyday life, and the perils of heavy weather including ships wrecked and lives saved. All aspects of a spectacular and previously unpublished maritime tradition are considered, not forgetting the question of competition. European pilots, in general, preferred to operate as organized bodies to avoid the results of excessive rivalry. Nonetheless, crews still wanted to be the best, and when different nationalities worked the same stretch of water, in particular the Scheldt between Belgium and Holland, the inevitable disagreements could erupt into violence.
Cover art: a full-rigged ship approaches the Elbe lightship No 2, Caspar. In such weather her master will be relieved to see the whaleboat carrying the pilot pulling bravely out to him.
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