13.December of1577,429 years ago, Sir Francis Drake set out on a three-year-long journey around the world.
At that time the Pacific was controlled by the Spanish and it was forbidden to all but Spanish ships. But Queen Elizabeth I commissioned Drake to undertake a top-secret mission to sail around the southern tip of South America and explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas.Drake left for the voyage on this day in 1577.
Sir Drake set sail from Plymouth, England, as captain of the Pelican, with four other ships and more than 150 men. Two of the ships were abandoned along the way, and the third returned to England after a storm in the Straits of Magellan. Drake was left with only one ship, which he renamed the Golden Hind.
Sir Drake sailed all the way up the coasts of South and North America, surprising the Spanish along the way. They’d never seen a hostile ship in their waters before. He captured ports and ships, plundered gold and silver, Spanish coins, precious stones and pearls. He sailed as far north as Vancouver hoping to find the Northwest Passage, and then turned west and crossed the Pacific.
He eventually returned to England in 1580 via the Cape of Good Hope, making him the first Englishman to sail around the world. You can read more about Sir drake and his 3 year long journey here.