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NORTH OF...

Admiral de Villavicencio and the two pilots had a fateful disagreement about their location. The pilots believed the ship north of Puerto Rico. The admiral insisted they were north of dangerous coral shoals. Under ship’s law, the pilots had the final word, and the ship headed south. To emphasize his disagreement, Villavicencio had a silver bowl full of water brought to the poop deck. There, before passengers and crew, he symbolically washed his hands of the decision.


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