Sir Francis Drake was a pirate

The second circumnavigator: Francis Drake

The pirate

The second big circumnavigation succeeded the Englishman Francis Drake. From 1577 to 1580 he was on the road for 1018 days! The plans and goals were kept top secret, because they did not want to turn against the Spaniards, who held large estates in South America. Drake started his tour with five ships. It went from Plymouth in England to northwest Africa, from there to South America, through the Strait of Magellan and the west coast up to North America. From here he crossed the Pacific and came to Indonesia. He drove through the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope (southern tip of Africa) and along the west coast of Africa back north to England.

From cabin boy to circumnavigator

Francis Drake had once started his career as a cabin boy. He became a sailor and helmsman, and finally an officer on board his cousin's ship, who was also a seafarer. Philip II had been king of Portugal and Spain since 1556. He held a monopoly on the slave trade, which England also wanted to enter. This led to conflicts with Spanish and Portuguese ships.

The pirate

Drake eventually became a pirate and undertook several pirate voyages against Spanish ships. Finally he received the order to circumnavigate the world.

Drake discovered Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America, and showed that the Strait of Magellan did not run between two continents, but between South America and the island of Tierra del Fuego.

Even during this voyage with his ship Golden hind Drake hijacked some Spanish ships and stole gold and silver. The conflict between Spain and England became even more apparent and from 1588 onwards led to war between the two countries. England eventually defeated the Spanish navy armada.