Basil Smith: Magellan Ship Victoria
Magellan's story is one of bitter hardship and triumph. It began on September 20, 1519, when he set sail from Seville, Spain in search of a passage leading through the new continent of America to the Pacific Ocean. Perilous weather, shipwrecks, starvation, mutiny and desertion, and fierce natives encountered on the long voyage would have forced even the most adventurous seafarers to turn back. But not Magellan, for his undefeatable iron will carried him onward to the discovery of a passage through the southern tip of South America, known today as the Strait of Magellan. From there, he sailed on to become the first man to conquer the vast Pacific Ocean and the first to circumnavigate the globe. Sadly, Magellan never reached home port in Seville, for he met his death on April 27, 1521 while battling hostle natives on Mactan Island in the Philippines. Of Magellan's original fleet of five ships, only one, the proud Victoria was to complete the voyage and return safely to Spain, when on September 8, 1522, she limped into port in Seville bearing only eighteen wretched survivors. In proving that ships could sail around the planet, Magellan ended a long era in which men had lived in a constantly expanding world. Other explorers would follow him; other discoveries would be made -- but everything discovered on the face of the earth after Magellan's voyage would shrink the world instead of expanding it.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® Trains & Boats & Planes & More Collection Description Card for the Victoria.
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