Travel Blog

Voyage around the World
Posted on Wednesday, April 7th 2010 - 12:57 AM by Christina McFaul

The most famous voyage by sea in the world.

Ferdinand Magellan set out to accomplish what Columbus never could. Reach the east by sailing west. Leaving Spain his fleet of 5 ships traveled over 41,000 miles and was at sea for 3 long years before one lone vessel completed the journey home. The men endured mutiny, dangerous storms, torture and disease. Nearly the entire crew of 250 men died including Magellan himself. Only 18 men completed the circumnavigation and managed to return to Spain in 1522, led by the Basque navigator Juan Sebastian Elcano, who took over command of the expedition after Magellan's death.

Even Magellan was woefully ignorant about the world at large. The maps at that time were useless for navigation. There was one sea called the "Ocean Sea", three continents, and Jerusalem was placed at the top of the map. In fact the map was not even portrayed as a globe, hence the theory that the world was flat. Had they truly had an understanding of just how big the circumference of the world was and the dangers it posed, they probably never would have left the port. It would have been considered a suicidal mission.

The expedition Magellan led was among the largest and best equipped in the Age of Discovery. Despite the numerous disasters that the crew and ship had been through, worst of all Magellan, himself, being brutally killed, the voyage forever changed the way we look at the world. It did, in fact, prove that the earth was round and not flat, as previously thought. Furthermore, the voyage eternally altered the way sailors would circumnavigate the oceans of the world.

Magellan opened the door for the small number of sailors courageous enough to brave a circumnavigation of the world. One of those sailors, who I have the great pleasure of knowing, is Zac Sunderland. At the age of just 16, Zac set off into the Pacific Ocean on a quest, not only to see the world and have the adventure of a lifetime, but also to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone. More people have gone into space than have attempted a solo circumnavigation. Thirteen months later he returned, completing his attempt and setting two world records. Sunderland is the youngest person ever to sail around the world and the first to do so under the age of 18.

Soon to come is a video interview with Zac Sunderland about his journey 360 degrees, how to live your most unreasonable dreams and a tour of his boat, the Intrepid, which was his home for 13 months during his circumnavigation. Bon Voyage!

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