In the beginning of the 19th century Agustín Fernández was chaplain of the naval base at San Blas. Records in the colonial section of the Mexican national archive, summarized in all caps, refer to his role several ways:
- "CAPELLAN DE LOS BUQUES" (chaplain of the ships)
- "AUXILIAR DEL PAQUEBOT 'PRINCIPE ASTURIAS'" (auxiliary of the packetboat "Principe Asturias")
- "CAPELLAN DEL APOSTADERO DE SAN BLAS" (chaplain of the San Blas station)
Other than provide confession to mariners, what did a naval chaplain like Fernández do? Given that reference to a specific ship, would the chaplain have served on voyages as well as in port?