National Geographic : 1960 Nov
Gibraltar Looms Across the Strait From Sunny Ceuta Prince Henry in 1415 led a Portuguese armada against Ceuta, a Moorish outpost in North Africa. Overwhelmed, the Moors surrendered. Henry's victory closed a ref uge for pirates, ended a threat of Moorish invasion, opened trade routes, and led to Portugal's glorious age of discovery. Here the 21-year old Prince conceived his vision of sea routes along Africa's west coast. Fourteen miles of sea separate Morocco and Gi braltar. Spain has owned Ceuta since the 16th century. Goats graze a slope over looking an army outpost. Titian-haired beauty of modern Ceuta traces her ancestry to Spain. Peekaboo locks frame the face of a teen-ager in Tangier, scene of one of Prince Henry's crusades. Many of her neighbors descend from Moors who conquered Portugal in the 8th century. pedigree, this ship, the caravel, proved best able to carry Prince Henry's bold navigators to unknown parts of the world. The caravel's combination of the stronger European hull and the fore-and-aft lateen rig, alone or together with square-rigged sails, gave Prince Henry's mariners a ship with more endurance, speed, and maneuver ability than any previous craft. A large caravel had the big square sail, surmounted by a topsail, on her foremast, because this was the perfect rig to drive a ship before favorable winds. She had either one or two more masts, each carrying one large lateen sail. Such sails were useful either off or on the wind. Lacking the area and the cumbersome rigging of the large square sail, the lateen sails could "point" up to the wind better, like a modern yacht. So the Portuguese caravel was 638 H5 EKTACHROMES(ABOVE) AND KODACHROME © N.G.S.