Ferdinand Magellan's Voyage around the World

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Part 2: The Voyage Itself

Things went well enough on the voyage, until the mutiny. In spite of constant interference by the now insanely jealous King Manuel of Portugal, Magellan had managed to get his voyage in ship-shape and ready to sail. He had kept under control his jealous Spanish captains, who didn't like the idea of reporting for orders to a Portuguese.

They had reached Port San Julian, far south along the eastern coast of South America. They had dropped anchor for the winter. Before he knew it, Magellan was faced with a mutiny. He bravely put down the mutiny, leaving two of its leaders behind, and sailed on. The search for the strait was long and difficult, but they found it. The ships sailed through to the "South Sea," which Magellan named the Pacific Ocean.

Then, things got really tough. One of the ships had slipped away and headed back for Spain, taking most of the rest of the food and water with it. The mutiny was in part a reaction to Magellan's telling his sailors to east less food every day. Now, the vast Pacific Ocean stretched on and on in all directions. Everywhere was water. Nowhere was land. The bright blue ocean stretched on for as far as anyone could see, day after day.

The food and fresh water ran out before it was over. Sailors ate anything they could find, including rats. Some sailors died. Finally, a full 98 days after leaving the strait, the crews landed in Guam.

A few days later, they arrived in the Philippines. Magellan managed to make a friend of a local island chieftain, and they were talking of taking control of all the nearby islands. Another island chieftain, on the island of Mactan, was making trouble, and Magellan decided to teach him a lesson.

Next page > The End of the Voyage > Page 1, 2, 3

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