Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ferdinand Magellan


There are no days, there are no nights, there are only blurs of my past and the present.  I see every day of my life now, I see my birth and my death. The events of my past show me now the errors I have made, the road blocks that have led me to my discoveries, and the influence I have had on the modern world. My birth in Portugal in 1480, I was born as Fernao de Magalhaes and I was Portuguese nobility.  Though I was part of the Portuguese Navy and was able to obtain land for Portugal, my king would not rise my rank. So I went to Spain, offering my services to King Charles V. 

Ferdinand Magellan

Land, that was the goal. We all wanted it. No we all needed it. Everyone wanted to expand there nation and take places that were not strongly controlled. So when Spain was looking for new land and money, and I had a good idea where to find it, King Charles V accepted my proposal. I was in charge of five hundred and sixty men, I led five ships San Antonio, Trinidad, Concepción, Victoria, and Santiago.  We were heading to the the spice islands where I had believed was part of our region we could take. We would leave from Spain in 1519 September 20 and circle the Earth. My ships headed down to what is now known as South America, we headed down the East coast of South America and stopped at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on December 13. We searched up and down the coast looking for a river to connect us to the western ocean. We did not find one however. So our ships docked at San Julián from March to August which took place in 1520, almost a year since our ships had set sail. Looking back at how I handled my stay in San Julián,  I  wonder if I hadn't killed three of my captains and wrecked a ship in the process of controlling a mutiny, if I would have still died when and how I did. I was thinking of the routes we would take, I had a process in how I do my work, and I'm an independent person and sharing my decisions with the other captains became a chore, and something I simply didn't do, which of course had led to the mutiny. After taking all the men from Santiago-- the ship that was wrecked-- and moving them aboard the remaining ships we set sail again,  by then it was August 1520.  

In October our fleet had entered a sand-strewn waterway between the tip of South America and Antarctica, which now, to my pleasure is known as the straight of Magellan, a momentum of my life that gives me such joy. Though the straight that we passed through was choppy and even led to the  San Antonio to turn around and head back to Spain, leaving us with three ships. Once we escaped the weather and choppy seas we encountered in the straight, we arrived on this western sea, in peaceful waters all of us enjoyed, so we named it the Pacific. 

We sailed North through the Pacific until we reached what is presently known as Guam on March 6, 1521. the days and weeks before we arrived at Guam were horrible, many of my men became ill from so many months and years at sea, and mostly became ill with scurvy, a disease I did not wish to get, and feared of getting. I was a lucky one and didn't get scurvy. Some of my men died from hunger and thirst and could not last before we restocked in Guam. It was a horrible sight to see, seeing my men get sick and hungry. This vision is something that still haunts my thoughts. After resupplying we sailed farther west until we found the Philippines where I claimed this land for the Spanish Empire. This is where my death would come.

On one island, Cebu, I met a leader who was very helpful and wanted to be a vassal of Spain. So to gain more control I took a force of sixty men, and went to another island to force the ruler to recognize the dominance of the chief of Cebu. When I arrived and we fought against a thousand men. Several of my men were killed, and I was killed as well and left by my crew as I died slowly from a poisoned arrow.  April 27, 1521 was the day of my death. Thirty more of my men were killed by the leader of Cebu.

Magellan's Voyage
Though I died and did not reach the Spice Islands that I intended to get to, my crew continued on with Trinidad and the Victoria and they reached the Spice Islands on November 8, 1521. My crew collected rare spices and cloves  for Spain and set sail to Spain, and though Trinidad had to turn back to fix repairs on the ship, and the Victoria set out alone on  December 21, 1521. The Victoria sailed west avoiding Portuguese ships and avoided the Cape of Good Hope and arrived at Seville on September 8, 1522. 

 I'm proud of my crew we were the first Europeans to circumnavigate the globe, which I do wish I was able to finish. I am not angry with my crew for leaving me to die, they needed to escape and not risk there lives, I had led them far enough for them to finnish there voyage, and prayed they would finish. Though I am glad that I died with a purpose and that I died exploring for Spain, and being known as a adventurer and a explorer, I wish that I could have finished my voyage around the Earth.

Tory Brewster 
Ferdinand Magellan 


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