(Editor’s Note: The following is the substance of an address delivered at the Naval Academy, May 23. 1927, preparatory to the beginning of the Summer Aviation Course.)
The qualifications of a seaman have always been much diversified. To speak in praise of seamanship has always been to imply the possession of a long list of widely varied attainments. Since the day when Phoenician galleys began to stretch their coasting voyages beyond friendly boundaries, and even to fare out into the open ocean, the vessel at sea has been a little principality, the lives of its inhabitants dependent upon their ability to display a total self-sufficiency. When gear broke, officers and crew must repair it. When need unforeseen arose for new equipment, it must be improvised from material at hand. When disease appeared it must be cured, if at all, by remedies carried on board and by the medical skill of some member of the ship’s company.