Page 74 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 74

 were duty bound to follow them. Linked to them was a system of bounties for the fastest crossings, and of fines for unnecessary calls at ports.9
These bounties were awarded for voyages completed within a given length of time. Days spent at the Cape were not counted in. A t first bounties were given for voyages of less than seven, eight or nine months, but in 1620 already this length of time was reduced. For trips to Batavia or India of less than six, seven and eight months, sums were payable of 600, 300 and 150 guilders respectively. Five-sixths of this money was to be equally divided between merchant, master and mate, the remainder to go to the second mate.10 A number of fast voyages in 1617 and 1618 (for instance 0216-0219) was probably respon- sible for this lowering of the bounty limits. Because of lack of adequate data about length of calls at the Cape it is impossible to assess whether this reduction was too great. The average duration of voyages for seventeen ships in 1619-1621 amounted to 282 days, inclusive of time spent in ports, i.e. more than nine months. In the following years however bounties were paid out quite regularly, because voyages of nine months or longer were becoming exceptional (see also table 12, p . 74).
A number of other matters concerning actual navigation were tackled by the Company, and regularized. Mates were examined to ascertain their professional knowledge, at first in the Amsterdam chamber only. As for charts, Plancius was the first of a long line of cartographers, continuing with Augustijn Robbert, Hessel Gerritsz., three generations of Blaeu's (1633-1705), Isaak de Graaf (1705-1743) and members of the V an Keulen family, until the dissolution of the Company. Apart from the Zeeland chamber, the Am- sterdam chamber in particular made sure that all ships were provided with the necessary charts and instruments of navigation. After arrival in Asia or on return home ships' journals had to be handed in, so that they could be checked for additions and amendments to charts. This remained standard practice. In 1655 lists were compiled - soon printed ones - of all categories of charts, books (seaman's manuals and navigational handbooks) and instruments, which at departure should be made available to masters, mates and two assistant mates. Scores of small scale outline maps and large scale detailed maps in tinplate cylinders were carried, nearly all hand-drawn and kept at Oost-Indisch Huis (East India House) in Amsterdam. During the second half of the seventeenth century a similar work- shop was established at Batavia, here maps were produced for homeward bound ships and for intra-Asiatic shipping.1 1
The later famous Instructie om in de May tijt uyt het Nederlandt naer Java te zeylen (Instructions for sailing in Maytime from the Netherlands to Java), as well as the instruc- tions for the autumn, date from 13 September 1627. Instructie van de eygenschap der winden in het vaarwater tusschen Nederland ende Java (Instructions on the nature of winds along the sea route between the Netherlands and Java) and the Memorie van de moussons in de zee en eylanden van het zuyden waejende (Memoir on the monsoons prevailing in the southern seas and islands) were issued simultaneously. Before each departure these were copied on board ship for the use of master and mates. In 1652 it was decided to
9 The complete text of the 'seynbrief in ARA, VOC 313, f. 58-61. (Prof. dr. G . Schilder at Utrecht has pointed this out). Furthermore Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 659-660, 663 and 666 and in particular Stapel, De Oostindische Compagnie, 16-22.
10 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 68, 10. For the AMSTERDAM (0513) a double bounty was paid in 1639 (Coolhaas, Generale Missiven, II, 88).
11 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 402-403 and 414—415. Schilder and Mörzer Bruyns, 'Navigatie' II, 177-183, 191-199 and III, 198-207 and 212-221.

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