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6th September, 1522 the first world expedition in the history was over

Ferdinand MagellanOn the 6th of September, 1522 the ship "Victoria", going around the entire Earth, returned to Spain. It was the only ship of the five ones, which managed to go alongside.

During the reign of Karla I a team of 265 people led by Ferdinand Magellan was assembled, which went on the first voyage around the world. Travelers were qualified to find the shortest sea route from Spain to Indonesia and India. Magellan believed that South America is the strait, through which they will pass. According to the legendary explorer, this place is located on the map somewhere near forty degrees south latitude.

It is known that firstly Magellan mouthed his ideas in Portugal, but at home no one took him seriously. This forced the traveler look for allies abroad. Magellan went to Spain, from where a big world tour had started. Surprisingly, he was able to command a squadron of five ships without maps and special devices for precise positioning. Magellan could accurately determine the breadth of the sun. He invented an alarm system, thanks to which when crossing the Atlantic Ocean different types of ships sailed together and were not separated.

When reached La Plata the team investigated the Gulf for a month, but has not been able to find the strait. Navigators determine latitude and made correction to an existing map of South America. Then the expedition moved southward along the Atlantic coast of the mainland. In this case, the ships sailed only during the day, so as not to miss the entrance to the strait. Ships fell into long storms, which led to a riot on three ships, that had been severely depressed by Magellan.

The ship "Santiago" was sent to explore and broke, however, the crew rescued. When the expedition found a narrow channel, which is now marked on the map as Magellan, it followed on it. It took about a month to overcome the strait. Meanwhile, people continued to die. The ship "San Antonio" deserted and swam to Spain. When it reached the Spanish coast, the captain of Magellan slandered and accused him of betraying the king.

The expedition, now consisting of only three ships left in the open ocean. The weather improved, and ships did not get into storms anymore. That is why Magellan named it Pacific Ocean.

For four months the team overcame hardships. The sailors were forced to drink putrid water, ate rusks dust mixed with worms, rats, and even sawdust. People caught hunger and scurvy, and many died.

When sailors went ashore of Philippine Islands, brave Magellan with weapons forced the Cebu ruler to obey the King of Spain. Having donned the role of protector of Aborigines, Magellan intervened in civil wars of the natives, as a result of which he was killed.

After the ordeal a total of 115 people had survived, so it was decided to burn the ship "Concepcion". Within four months the expedition wandered, hoping to find the Spice Islands. Finally, the Spaniards overtook the island of Tidore, where they could buy large quantity of nutmeg, cloves and other spices for a low price. "Victoria", under the command of Juan Elcano followed westward around Africa. "Trinidad", which needed repair, didn’t sail off. Thus, on the 6th of September, with 18 people on board, ship "Victoria" completed the circumnavigation, which lasted for 1081 days. Through the sale of imported spices, sailors were able to cover all the costs of travel.

This Circumnavigation proved that the Earth is round. The expedition found that the majority of our planet is covered by land and ocean. Two star clusters were named in honor of Magellan, and there is a strait on the map that bears the name of the great discoverer.

This Day in History 06-09-2012