Magellan Circumnavigation 3
Magellan thought that as soon as he passed the Magellan Strait , he could sail right on to the Spice Islands. He had no idea of the size of the Pacific Ocean or the distance that he had left till the Spice Islands. They sailed north until they were between Juan Fernandez Islands and Santiago, then veered west on December 18 1521, deeper into the Pacific. They missed many islands - the Marshall Islands, Easter Island, The Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, Christmas Island. Hunger and scurvy was attacking them. On February 15th the crossed the Equator, and Magellan was mystified as to why they had not bumped into the Spice Islands yet. Ninety eight days after they left the Magellan Strait, on March 6 1521, they reached the island of Guam. They stock up on supplies and leave Guam on March 9th. On March 16 they reach the island of Samar in the Phillippines, then moved onto safe anchorage on Homonhon island where they had a great feast.
Magellan arrived at the island of Cebu on April 7 1521 where there were many villages with houses built on logs. Unfortunately Magellan got sucked into local politics and attacked the island of Mactan on Saturday, April 27, 1521. He was killed by the natives along with eight of his men. After the death of Magellan, the officers voted Duarte Barbosa and Juan Serrano as co-captains. On May 1 the Cebuans massacred many officers so the three ships of the Armada de Molucca raised anchor and fled Cebu as fast as they could. There were only 115 men left now.
On may 2 the Concepcion was set alight because the hull had been found full of toredo worms. After a hasty vote Espinoza was made commander of Victoria while Joao Lopes Carvalho, the Portuguese pilot, became the new Captain General. The two ships meandered southwards through the Phillipine archipelago towards the moluccas. They stop at Mindanao then veer off course west into the Sulu Sea towards china. They call in at Caghaian island then reach Palawan where they stocked up on supplies. The fleet leaves Palawan on June 21 1521 and capture some arab pilots who directed them southwest towards Brunei, an Arab stronghold. They reach Brunei, then repair the hulls of the ships on the island of Cimbonbon. They head back out to sea on September 27 and on November 6, 1521 they finally reach the Spice Islands - Ternate, Tidore, Motir, and Makian, and drop anchor in twenty fathoms in the harbour of Tidore.
After heaps of local politics they finally fill both the ships up with spices and start to head off back to Spain. But the Trinidad springs a leak just as they are leaving and they have to formulate a new plan. The Victoria was to go West at once back to Spain and the Trinidad was to be refitted and repaired and was to go East to Darien on the Yucatan peninsula in Central America. Early on the morning of December 21 the Victoria pulled anchor and left the harbour of Tidore with a full load of spices, mainly cloves. A cargo that would be worth the equivalent of millions today. The Armada de Molucca returns to Spain.
Magellan Circumnavigation Resources
Magellan Circumnavigation part 1
Magellan circumnavigation part 2
Magellan circumnavigation part 4
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