Captain was a nautical term and the traditional title given to a person in charge of a ship at sea. Legal documents often correctly refer to these people as the ship's Master. The word came to English via French from the Latin capitaneus ("chief") which itself was derived from the Latin word caput ("head"). The analogous French title is Capitaine, it was notably used by the Pirate Lord Chevalle. The analogous Spanish title is Capitán, it was notably used by the Pirate Lord Esmeralda Maria Consuela Anna de Sevilla. The "Captain" was usually helped by the first mate, or bo'sun.
Over the years, the captain was responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complied with local and international laws, as well as company and flag state policies. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, were under the captain's authority and are his ultimate responsibility.
In the Royal Navy, the term 'captain' referred to the officer in command of the ship whether he was a Lieutenant, Commander or Post Captain. The actually rank of Captain was referred to as 'Post Captain' to distingush it.
Some captains, like Jack Sparrow, owned their ships, while others such as James Norrington, commanded ships for others. The captain was the one to give the order to abandon ship. Disobeying the captain could be considered mutiny.
Gallery of notable captains
Behind the scenes
- Oddly enough, though he usually isn't captain of a ship in the Pirates series, Jack Sparrow was often named "Captain Jack Sparrow" or just "Captain Jack" in various promotional material as well as by some of the cast and crew. This is likely because the character always preferred to present himself as captain.
- In a deleted scene from At World's End, titled "Two Captains, One Ship", Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa had a comical fight over the captaincy of the Black Pearl as they journeyed through the endless seas of Davy Jones' Locker. This scene was also included in the film's junior novelization.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean Online, there are weapons called the Captain's Cutlass, Captain's Resolve and Captain's Sabre.
- The Price of Freedom
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides