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First Mate

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Illustration by Juliet Jacobson

The First Mate was second in command on the ship. He was responsible for carrying out all of the captain's orders, making sure the ship's rigging and gear were in working order, and keeping the log that recorded the movements of the ship and the numbers of whales captured. It was his duty to carry on the work, find every man something to do and see that it was done. He also commanded the larboard (port side) watch. When in port, he was in charge of receiving, discharging, and stowing cargo. During the chase, he and the other mates were each in charge of one of the whaleboats,which were rowed out in pursuit of whales. His lay (share of the profits) was between 1/18 and 1/25

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