Read to discover the epic voyage of Ferdinand Magellan.

Big image

Toby McCollum


Ferdinand Magellan, born in 1480 was one of the most determined (having a idea that you will not change) explorers in the 14 and 1500's. This story will tell you the specific events from his childhood as a page in Portugal to his death in a battle. Read to find out more about this prominent (famous) explorer.

Early Life

Ferdinand Magellan was born of noble parentage, which means he was related to a king or someone of high authority. He soon became page at a Portuguese court (an establishment for people of high power) called Libson. He heard about the voyages of explorers like Vasco de Gama. At age 25 Magellan sailed to India because the Portuguese were building a empire there.

Magellan joined the Portuguese navy, and in 1510 Magellan helped the Portuguese defeat Goa, a place in India. It became a Portuguese colony (an area under control of another country). He than became interested in the spice trade.

An Epic Voyage

Magellan learned that the most expensive kind of spices were found in the Molucca islands and considered going there. By then he was an expert navigator. But instead of going east like most explorers he thought there was a way to get to the islands by going west. Magellan asked the Portuguese King John II if he could have ships and men for his voyage. But the Portuguese king tuned him down because he was not interested.

When Magellan then asked the Spanish king, Charles l he convinced him that if he could find a new trade route (a route used by traders and merchants) to Asia than he would become rich. So the Spanish king gave Magellan everything that he needed to go on his voyage around the world. After three years of planing, stocking up, and hiring Magellan was finally ready with 241 men and five ships: the San Antonio, Trinidan, Conception, Santiago, and Victoria.

Magellan sailed down to a point near the tip of South America were he found a strait (a narrow stream of water that connects two oceans) that went through the tip. But instead of going through it then, they had to wait for winter to be over and weather to get better. The Santiago was destroyed in a powerful storm and the sailors were getting restless. Magellan even put one of his captains to death!

Magellan finally got going again and sailed through the strait that is now called The Strait of Magellan. As they sailed through the strait the San Antonio deserted the fleet and sailed back to Spain. When the crew made it out of the strait they sailed into the vast ocean that awaited them.

Magellan named the ocean the Pacific, which means peaceful, because it seemed so calm compared to the harsh waters of the strait. The fleet sailed and sailed but saw nothing except two uninhabited islands. The crew started to starve and there water was much to foul to drink. The crew members were so desperate, they ate rats, leather, and sawdust (particles of wood made by sawing). Then many men got a called disease scurvy. 19 men died.Then finally, after 3 months the crew sailed out of the Pacific, to an island we now know as Guam. From there Magellan sailed to the Philippines.

A Voyage Completed

In the Philippines an awful thing happened. Magellan and many other crew members were slain (killed) in a horrible battle between two native american tribes. Then there were only 110 crew members left. This forced them to only bring the Trinidad and the Victoria, so they left the Conception behind.

They were not far from the spice islands but they went in the wrong direction and had to turn around. But in the end they made it to the spice islands and loaded there ships with spices (a vegetable substance used to flavor food) . They then decided that they would split up and have the Trinidad try to make it back to a Portuguese colony in Mexico and the Victoria go back to Spain.

Both ships again suffered from hunger and disease. The Trinidad had to go back to the spice islands after half the crew died. But finally, the Victoria sailed into the harbor they had left from almost three years prior (before). Only 18 men were left from the 241 who began.

Works Cited

  • magellan-ferdinand
  • Illustration of Fernand Magellan

  • Ferdinand Magellan

  • A mural painting depicting the Battle of Mactan

  • File:Magellan's voyage EN.svg

About the Author


was born in Maryland and moved to North Carolina in 2007-8. He is the author of the flyer you are reading or just read. He now resides in a home in North Carolina with his mother. He goes to school at North Windy Ridge.

Book Review

T.J.- the book is really good because it has a lot of detail like in the paragraphs of AN EPIC VOYAGE, I would rate this a five star.