English Across the Curriculum

Age of Exploration

Magellan Sails Around the World

In 1519 the Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan set out to find India by sailing around South America. He sailed for Spain because the Portuguese didn't give him any money for this expedition.

Magellan had 5 ships and a crew of 240. When he reached the southern tip of South America, he got into bad, stormy weather. Two of his ships were badly damaged and couldn't continue the journey. With three ships he sailed through a strait, that later was named after him , the Strait of Magellan.

When he reached the Pacific Ocean, he sailed for three months without any sight of land. Finally , in April of 1521 he landed on the Philippine Islands. Magellan got into a fight with native islanders and was killed there.

Only one ship could continue the voyage. It crossed the Indian Ocean and sailed around the Cape of Good Hope. With only twenty people on board it reached Spain three years after it had set out.

Voyage of Magellan

Magellan's journey around the world
Knutux [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons