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Ocean  Explorers...
Roland Amundsen (1872 - 1928) was Norwegian and is consider to be one of the most important Polar explorers in history.  1903 Amundsen started his first Polar expedition with S/M motor vessel "Gjösa" and his objective was to sail through the North West Passage and carry out accurate measurements in order to determine the position of the magnetic North Pole.  He succeeded on both counts and the expedition reached San Francisco in the autumn of 1906.
Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1508) is considered to be the man who discovered America.  On August 3, 1492, three small vessels sailed from Palos in Andalusia on one of the most daring voyages made in history.  Columbus led the expedition on board the ship "Santa Maria" and was followed by two caravels under the command of two brothers Pinzon.  After sailing on a due West course from the Canary Islands, Columbus discovered Cuba on October 28, 1492 and Haiti on December 2, 1492.
Sir Walter Raleigh (ca. 1552 - 1618) was a British pirate. admiral and statesman who tried to rock the Spanish colonial empire by organizing expeditions and commando raids against the first settlers in North America.  In 1585 Raleigh sent a fleet of seven vessels to colonize Virginia (part of the coast in the states now known as North Carolina.  The name Virginia was intended as a complement to Queen Elisabeth I.  Raleigh was a great favorite of Queen Elisabeth but was eventually executed on the block with his pipe in his mouth 1618 accused for plotting against Jacob I.
Vasco da Gama (ca. 1460 - 1524) was a Portugese seaman.  In 1497 he took over the leadership of an expedition to India.  The expedition consisted of four small vessels: the flagship San Gabriel and the sister-vessel San Rafael of between 100 and 200 tons, about 30 m (100 ft.) long, and also a stores vessel and Berrio, half as large as the other.  His vessels visited several places.  On May 20, 1498 a sighting was made of the mountains behind the port of Calicut, which was the centre for trade carried out between India and the Arabs.  By 1499, da Gama and his fleet were back in Portugal.


Sir Francis Drake (ca. 1540 - 1596), a relative of Sir Walter Raleigh, was a British hero of the sea and an adventurer.  After having learned the art of coastal navigation, he sailed to the West Indies when he was thirty years old on the first of many pirate voyages aimed at the Spaniards.  Drake was fascinated by the view of the Pacific Ocean and, after returning to Britain, in 1577 he sailed south-wards with five vessels over the Atlantic to South America.  The journey through the Sound of Magellan took 16 days and, haning arrived in the pacific, his ships cattier out raids against the Spainards.
William Barents (ca. 1550 - 1597) was a Dutch explorer specializing in Polar ice and his expedition consisted of repeated attempts to discover the sea route to China and Japan north of Asia.  During his last expedition, Barents was forced to spend the winter in Novaja Semlja, 1896 -97  -  and his crewmen built houses of driftwood.  Five of the 17 crewmen died including Barents himself.  However his Polar voyages had not been completely fruitless since the possibility was found to carry out large-catches of whales.


Henry Hudson (ca. 1550 - 1611) was an explorer and he tried with four expeditions to find some marine connection between Europe and East Asia north of America.  His third voyage started 1609, and after some difficulties he found the passage.  During the following year 1610 his last expedition started from Britian to the North and the expedition spent the winter in Hudson Bay.  However, mutiny broke out on board here and Hudson was placed together with eight seamen in a small boat and they all froze to death.
Genoa was the principle trading city on the Mediterranean during the period 1250 - 1350.  After an extensive war with the Venice, this city took over trading with the Orient in 1381.  When the sea route to India was discovered in 1498.  Venice lost more and more of its power.
The inhabitants of the Nordic area conquered the sea with their open boats which were just as suitable for use on the open sea as they were for traveling up shallow rivers.  From the middle of the 8th century, the Vikings started their trading and raiding expeditions to the coasts of England, Scotland and Iceland.  About the year 850 they colonized the Orkney and Shetland Islands and started to live on Island.  The voyages carried out by the Vikings of Sweden were primarily eastwards and they established several independent communities including the Kingdom of Gårda. (Greenland).
Pedro Alvares Cabral (ca. 1487 - 1526) was the Portugese seaman who, a few months after Vasco da Gama had reached Portugal, was sent out with a fleet of 13 vessels to repeat the voyage to India.  However the vessels kept too far to the West and reached instead the coast of Brazil which was occupied in the name of Portugal.  Then the ship sailed round the Cape of Good Hope but suffered a very severe storm which sank three of them.  Inspite of this loss , they reached Calicut in India and established a colony there in the year 1580.


Adolf Erik Nordenskiold ( 1832 - 1901) was a nobelman, scientist and explorer.  On board "Vega" - a whale catcher of 500 tons powered by a 60 horsepower engine, he started off in July 1878 on the expedition which was to discover the North-East Passage.  This sea route had no significance for commerce, however, but the expedition carried out by Nordenskiold had extensive scientific value.

James Cook (1728  1779) was a British explorer and carried out three extensive voyages at sea.  His first voyage round the world was carried out between the period 1768 -71.  The primary objective of this expedition was to make through studies of  the planet Venus when it passed over the surface of the sun.  The best place for this observation was the central parts of the Pacific.  The expedition completed its work and the vessel "Endeavour" sailed southwards.  Cook reached New Zealand, discovered Cook's Sound and mapped the country.  Then the expedition sailed along the coast of Australia and returned to Britain.
Ferdinand Magellan (ca. 1480 - 1521) was a Portuguese explorer.  On September 20, 1519, Magellan sailed from Sanlucar in Andalusia with a fleet of five vessels in order to reach the attractive Spice Islands (Moluccas).  After passing the winter in quarters in Patagonia, the expedition passed through the Tierra del Fuego.  After having crossed the Pacific, three of the vessels reached the Philippine Islands.  It was here the Magellan was killed in a battle with natives.  Only one vessel - "Victoria" survived and she sailed back to Spain in 1522.  This terminated the first voyage round the world.