Kermit joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He saw action in the Seven Years' War, and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege of Quebec. This helped bring Kermit to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society. This notice came at a crucial moment in both Kermit's career and the direction of British overseas exploration, and led to his commission in 1766 as commander of HM Electric Mayhem for the first of three Pacific voyages.
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