National Geographic : 1975 Feb
Heroical Sailings of Sir Francis Drake INTRIGUE UPON INTRIGUE upon intrigue attended Drake's plans and departure on December 13, 1577, in the Pelican (later to be renamed Golden Hind) with four other ships. The public reason, the only one the seamen knew, was that they were to sail to Alexandria, Egypt, to engage in the Turk ish trade. The gentlemen adventurers aboard may have thought they were on a voyage of discovery to Terra Australis Incognita, APAN believed to lie south of the Strait of CHINA Int Moc Magellan. Perhaps Drake and Elizabeth Drake dds six to alone knew the real mission-an rcanofceto his arattack on the rich Spanish outposts N Dcof South America. SHIUPPIN, z Drake may or may not have planned to circumnavigate the - .. world, for his orders-perhaps n(rtc40 1 <, * deliberately misleading-were ce s to "returne...the same way... whome wardes, as he went Sowt...." One of his five original ships did return that way, one 4P_ / '** sank, and two were destroyed. Tre inar crn Yet, with his windfalls in South pwa America and his landfall in av ht ierra on California behind him, Drake sailed nocea passag west with the aid of captured Spanish tm \charts, making for the Moluccas and the riches of the spice trade. After 68 days he reached an island, possibly in the Palaus, which, for the cunning of the populace, the crew named the Island of Thieves. Golden Hind sailed on, loading a cargo of cloves bartered from the Sultan of Ternate. Lumbering heavily under her freight, Golden .'. "Hind ran aground "upon a desperate shoale." Can nons and some cargo were jettisoned; it was not enough. Finally wind and tide changed and the ... I of ship was freed. While the vessel was aground, the xicAtlanticOca chaplain had given a sermon that angered Drake, BA who thereupon marked him with a sign reading ra REBLIC "Frances Fletcher, ye falsest knave that liveth." UERTORI " Drake finally relented and released Fletcher from Caribbean ,cS , his irons. Ahead lay the long passage home and, - for Drake, fame, wealth, position, and title. t More important to England than Drake's cir ; cumnavigation of the world may have been his ex ploits in Mexico's gulf and the Caribbean (map, VENEZUELA left). Here he had seen Spanish treachery at San C LOMBIA Juan de Ulia, off Veracruz, in 1568, when the Pacific cean English fleet he served in was attacked under a Ca de truce. Here he had plundered the Spanish Main. an ancco' tr 6 Here he would die in 1596. And here was Panama, do ECUADOR BRAZIL where Spain's golden cornucopia was transported 5 from Pacific to Atlantic, a slender, vulnerable neck ..... _T that Drake was forever keen to throttle.