Coxswain and the Tiller

Coxswain and the tiller. The tiller is a piece of wood used by the helmsman to apply pressure to the rudder to steer the boat. It is usually a stout piece of wood mounted horizontally, attached to the top of the rudder at one end, with its other end held by the helmsman. The Coxswain on a man-of-war was a high-ranking petty officer, and unless there was a superior officer on board, was the man in charge of the boat. He always manned the helm.

If the dialogue seems real to you in this and the previous chapter on Thomas, some of it was extracted from Thomas’s biography. Some of the members of Thomas’s crew were named from his personal records. except for Kipper, and the carpenter and his mate, Mr. Wool and Mr. Miller. The latter two names were simply chosen at random, while I used Kipper as an homage to Patrick O’Brian’s Killick.

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