The Efficient Deckhand Certificate was introduced as a shortcut to providing watchkeepers at a time when the demand for ABs was beginning to outstrip the supply. After 18 months at sea an Ordinary Seaman who got this could keep an AB's watch, although he was not paid the full AB rate of 24 per month until he had done four years. (His initial pay was 20 per month, rising by 1 per year.)

At that time the deck department of 'Calchas' was manned by Midshipmen and it was necessary for us to take our EDH so that the ship had the statutory number of ABs aboard. The document measures 6.6 inches by 5.4.

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