Gulf of Aden Pilot


Derrotero del Golfo de Aden (Gulf of Aden pilot) is a set of navigational instructions in Spanish for the Gulf of Aden, the east coast of Arabia, Socotra and adjacent islands, and the coast of Somalia. Shown here is the revised and updated second edition published in 1887. Most of the information is derived from other publications, namely the 1885 French pilot Instructions nautiques sur la mer Rouge et le golfe d’Aden (Nautical instructions for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden) and the 1882 Gulf of Aden Pilot of the British Admiralty’s Hydrographic Office. Hydrographic pilots are instructions to mariners describing the characteristics of waterways and harbors. They often are supplemented by updated charts, lighthouse lists, information about prevailing meteorological conditions, harbor regulations, and other information pertinent to seafaring. Their commercial and political rivalries notwithstanding, European countries generally shared such maritime information with each other. Unlike other European powers, Spain did not have extensive colonial or commercial ambitions in Asia, apart from the colony of the Philippines, which it had ruled since the 16th century. Prior to Mexico achieving independence in the early 19th century, the Philippines were ruled from Mexico. Thereafter, administration of the colony was carried out from Madrid, thus requiring the longer route from Europe, which, after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, involved transiting through the Red Sea, around the Arabian Peninsula, and into the Indian Ocean. The Derrotero is supplied with numerous sketches of prominent coastal features. It also has a glossary of Arabic terms, an index of place-names, and a table of longitude and latitude coordinates of prominent features.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Hydrographic Office, Madrid


Title in Original Language

Derrotero del golfo de Aden, socotora é islas adyacentes, costas de Somalí y de Arabia en el golfo de Aden, y parte E. de la costa de Arabia

Type of Item

Physical Description

272 pages

Last updated: April 29, 2016