Armada de Molucca

I was just onboard a replica of Magellan’s 500-year-old flagship, Nao Trinidad. It was one of five ships in the 1519 Armada de Molucca sailing around the world. Magellan made it as far as the Philippines. I may have to re-read Bergreen’s Over the Edge of the World.

Magellan and his crew were not 21st-century men. They were cruel, violent, superstitious, incredibly ignorant about everything, greedy, zealously ideological and theological, and they smelled really bad. But they had nerve. Nerve enough to say across unknown oceans with little more than a compass, bad food, and a rat-infested wooden boat that leaked and depended on the vagaries of the wind to get from point A to the next unknown point. Or maybe they were just idiots.

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