Ferdinand Magellan’s Fleet

And the first circumnavigation of the globe

Ferdinand Magellan was the Portuguese navigator and explorer in the service of Spain. He commenced an expedition around the world. It was the first voyage circumnavigating around the world and popular as ‘Magellan Expedition’ (Magellan-Elcano expedition).

He lived between c. 1480 and 1521. His Portuguese name was Femao Magalhaes. He started his circumnavigation of the globe with a fleet of five ships along with food and other supplies for two years of travel.

His fleet left on 20 September 1519 from Spain. While rounding South America he found a navigable sea passage in southern Chile which is now named after him the ‘Strait of Magellan’.

It has now become the most important naturally formed sea passage between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

In 1521, he reached Philippines and there a fight between his men and the local allies on Cebu Island of the south-central Philippines (the chief city and port of Cebu). In that battle he was killed by Lapu-Lapu, the chieftain of the island in April 1521. The survivors with the remaining two ships under the leadership of Juan Sebastian Elcano sailed back to Spain round Africa in 1522, completing the first voyage around the world.

Giants on the Waters

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