1887

n Historia - Water and beverages on DEIC ships between the Netherlands and the Cape : 1602-1795

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Abstract

This article deals with the water-supply to ships of the Dutch East India Company (DEIC) on the voyage between Texel in the Netherlands and the Cape, the longest and most perilous leg of the DEIC sailing schedule. Although water-supply was a small, albeit vital part of the logistical management of the DEIC, it serves to illustrate the problems that this first global enterprise faced in its 193 years of existence. It had to provide for the water-security of its employees in the face of six independent chambers which incessantly pushed for higher profits, and did so by arduously establishing and enforcing a set of uniform policies applicable to all. It had to devise controls to prevent its senior seafaring personnel from illegally filling their pockets by depriving the ordinary seamen of their liquid rations and selling the surplus. It faced the troublesome problem of maintaining acceptable water-quality in the light of insufficient scientific understanding of the problem and inadequate technology to counter water-quality deterioration. Finally, they reluctantly had to invest in substantial capital works on land to sustain the provisioning of water to their ships.


Die klem val hier op watervoorsiening op skepe van die Hollandse Oos- Indiese Kompanjie (HOIK) wat tussen Texel in Nederland en die Kaap gevaar het - die langste en gevaarlikse been van die HOIK se vaartskedule. Alhoewel watervoorsiening slegs 'n klein, hoewel belangrike onderdeel van die HOIK se bedrywighede was, is dit 'n goeie voorbeeld van die logistiese probleme waarmee die wêreld se eerste globale handelspeler in sy 193-jaarlange bestaan te doene gekry het. Watersekuriteit moes met behulp van 'n eenvormige beleid op die skepe gewaarborg word ondanks die sterk winsgedrewenheid en uiteenlopende praktyke van die ses dikwels eiesinnige kamers waaruit die HOIK bestaan het. Daarby moes teenvoeters vir die korrupsie van seevarende amptenary wat rantsoene van hulle bemanning weerhou het om dit later vir persoonlike gewin te verkoop, gevind word. Ondanks verskeie praktyke om die agteruitgang van waterkwaliteit op lang reise in tropiese gebiede hok te slaan, was dit onsuksesvol as gevolg van gebrekkige kennis en tegnologie wat toe nog nie genoegsaam ontwikkel het nie. Die stelsels wat vir die bestuur van drinkwater op die skepe ontwikkel is, moes deur aansienlike kapitaalbestedings aan die landkant aangevul word om goeie en genoegsame bronne te verseker waarmee die voorrade vinnig en maklik aangevul kon word.

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/content/hist/52/1/EJC38249
2007-05-01
2016-12-03
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