Marco Polo inspired Columbus to explore in 1492 three ships set sail the Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria. In 1500 conditions were persistently chaotic complaints to spanish officials were so frequent that a royal dispatched to the Coloney he was sent back to spain in chains.
Vasco da Gama
He set sail in july of 1497 after traveling over 6,000 miles East he found spices. He set sail with a crew of 170 from Lisbon, Portugal rounded the cape of good hope and anchored at malindi on the East coast of Africa.
Magellan studied astronomy and navigation highly valued for flavoring and preserving food as well as masking the taste of meat gone bad, spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and especially black pepper, were extremely valuable.