Ever since I was indoctrinated as a young child with filiopietistic reverence for Columbus and the entire panoply of European explorers, I’ve been fascinated by their extraordinary journeys. Recently, I discovered a wonderful website that traces the route of Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage around the globe.
On September 20, 1519, five ships with 239 men (the De Armada de Moluccas) set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain. The goal of the Armada de Moluccas was to establish a new route to the Moluccan Islands, in presentday Indonesia. On September 6, 1522, only one of those ships, the Victoria, returned to Spain. It was the first ship to circumnavigate the world. Only 18 men returned to Spain on the Victoria. Many of the others died on the voyage, including Captain Ferdinand Magellan, who was killed in the Philippines in April 1521. The First Around the Worldis an interactive site showing the route of the Armada de Moluccas. The map also shows signifigant events of the trip, such as the kidnapping and chaining of two Indians from the Tehuelches tribe, the burning of a village in Guam, and an attack on Mactan Island that killed Captain Magellan.