The Voyage Concludes

On 6 September 1522, a broken vessel pulled into the Guadalquivir river. Two days later, the Victoria docked at Seville, leaking in every seam, after a voyage of four and a half years. 

They had travelled over eighty thousand kilometres. 

After countless dangers, mutinies and periods of near starvation, of 237 men who had set out, only eighteen remained. 

Four ships out of five had been lost, but the cargo of spices they brought covered the costs of the expedition and still delivereda profit. 

The voyage proved that the earth was round, that it was larger than anyone had imagined, and disproved the theory that a few days' sailing from the Americas would bring ships to the East. 

The Spanish were never able to follow up the success of Magellan's expedition. The route he discovered was too dangerous. While ships could reach the Indies by going west, the condition of those who returned showed it was not an easy route.

© Ian Hughes 2017