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Ferdinand Magellan Ships

Picture of Ferdinand Magellan

Picture of Ferdinand Magellan

Biography and Timeline of Ferdinand Magellan

The Ferdinand Magellan Ships - Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521)
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese sea captain who sailed under the Spanish Flag. Magellan convinced King Charles I of Spain to support his voyage to the Spice Islands.

The government of Spain provided 5 ships for the Magellan expedition. On 20 September 1519 Ferdinand Magellan led the five Spanish ships and 251 men in what was to become the first voyage around the World. Ferdinand Magellan died on the island of Mactan before the end of the voyage. The names of the 1519 Ferdinand Magellan Ships were the Trinidad, the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria and the Santiago. The brave men of the 1500's, like Ferdinand Magellan, who sailed in uncharted waters to unknown lands were courageous adventurers who were motivated by fame, glory and the wealth. The living conditions on board the small ships were basic and the voyages were very dangerous.

The Voyage of Ferdinand Magellan
The fleet under Ferdinand Magellan sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to South America and Rio de Janeiro. Magellan then started to search for a passage to the Pacific Ocean. On 21 November 1520 Ferdinand Magellan entered the straits which would be forever named in his honour - the Magellan Straits - they were to be the first Europeans ever to sail across the Pacific. The names of the Five Ships of Ferdinand Magellan and their commanders were as follows:

  • Magellan commanded the Trinidad - Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives on the island of Mactan before the end of the voyage
  • Juan de Cartagena commanded the San Antonio
  • Gaspar de Quesada commanded the Conception
  • Luis de Mendoza commanded the Victoria
  • Juan Serrano commanded the Santiago

Facts, Information and History about the Navigational Aids on the Ferdinand Magellan ships
Facts, Information and history about Ferdinand Magellan Ships. Various aids to navigation were available on ships during the Renaissance. The Navigational aids that Ferdinand Magellans would have used on his five ships, the Trinidad, the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria and the Santiago, included:

  • Astrolabes
  • Charts
  • Assorted time pieces including and hour glass and sundial
  • Compasses
  • Cross-staffs
  • Nocturnals
  • Traverse boards
  • Almanacs

All of the navigational aids used by Ferdinand Magellan on the the Trinidad, the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria and the Santiago were used to measure the angle between objects above the ocean, such as the stars or the sun, with the horizon. This would have enabled Ferdinand Magellan to calculate the ship's position at sea.

Facts about the five ships of Ferdinand Magellan
Facts, Information and history about the five Ferdinand Magellan Ships:

  • Facts about Ferdinand Magellan Ships: Conditions on the Ferdinand Magellan ships would have been very basic. Food provisions would have included bread, beer, hard biscuits, fish and salted meat. The Captain would have had some private stores which might include wine
  • Facts about Ferdinand Magellan Ships: How fast were the ships? The Trinidad, the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria and the Santiago would probably covered a distance of about 100 miles per day
  • The ships carried about 251 men in total
  • The seamen would sleep in cramped and damp conditions on the deck of the ships
  • There was a lack of proper sanitation
  • One of the ships would have carried a surgeon or doctor
  • One of the worst health problems on board the five Ferdinand Magellan Ships would have been scurvy
  • Fresh livestock included pigs and chickens were part of the ships provisions
  • Meat would have been preserved by being salted
  • Cooking was done in a fire box located on decks in the bow of the ship, Cooking pots or cauldrons would be suspended from a bar

Facts about the Ferdinand Magellan ships - the Trinidad, the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria and the Santiago

  • Facts about Ferdinand Magellan Ships: The names of the Ferdinand Magellan ships were the Trinidad, the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria and the Santiago
  • It is believed that the type of ships used were caravels
    • Caravels were broad-beamed ships that had 3 masts with square sails and a triangular sail
  • Caravels varied in size from between 50 and 100 tons and varied in length from 45 feet to 100 feet
  • The fullest account of the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan is that of Antonio Pigafetta, who sailed with Magellan
  • A storm destroyed the Santiago
  • The Conception was abandoned
  • The Trinidad tried to return to Spain
  • The Victoria was the last remaining ship which held seamen from the other ships
  • The Victoria reached Spain with only eighteen survivors
  • Juan Sebastian Elcano was the Captain General of the Victoria who took the ship back to Spain
  • The list of survivors and their positions on board who completed the first voyage around the world were as follows:
    • Juan Sebastian Elcano, Captain-General
    • Miguel de Rodas, boatswain of the Victoria ( a boatswain was a petty officer who controlled the work of other seamen)
    • Francisco Albo boatswain of the Trinidad
    • Juan de Acurio, of Bermeo, boatswain of the Conception
    • Maartin de Judicibus, of Genoa, superintendent of the Conception
    • Hernando de Bustamante, of Alcantara, barber of the Conception ( a barber of the era would have acted as an unskilled doctor and dentist)
    • Juan de Zuvileta, of Baracaldo, page of the Victoria
    • Miguel Sanchez, of Rodas, marinero of the Victoria ( a marinero was a skilled seaman )
    • Nicholas the Greek, of Naples, marinero of the Victoria
    • Diego Gallego, of Bayonne, marinero of the Victoria
    • Juan Rodriguez, of Seville, marinero of the Trinidad
    • Antonio Rodriguez, of Huelva, marinero of the Trinidad
    • Francisco Rodriguez,  marinero of the Conception
    • Juan de Arratia, grumete of the Victoria ( a grumete was a common sailor)
    • Vasco Gomez Gallego , grumete of the Trinidad
    • Juan de Santandres, grumete of the Trinidad
    • Martin de Isaurraga, grumete of the Conception
    • Antonio Pigafetta, of Vicenza, passenger and the man who wrote the diary
Biography and Timeline of Ferdinand Magellan
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Christopher Columbus Ships
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