A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.
of 120 tons, the latter 100.  In addition to these, a caravel of 50 tons, called the Berrio, and a ship of 200 tons were purchased.  In the year 1497, the king appointed Vasco de la Gama, as chief captain for the voyage, an experienced navigator, who had done great service, and a man of great valour, well fitted for executing the great enterprize intended by the king.  Paulo de la Gama, brother to the captain-general, and Nicholas Coello, both men of valour and enterprise, were appointed the other captains of the squadron.  Bartholomew Diaz was likewise commanded to accompany the squadron of discovery in a caravel to the Mirna:  And as the three ships of war appointed for the voyage could not contain a sufficient supply of provisions for their crews, the ship of 200 tons, which had been purchased from Ayres Correa, was ordered to accompany de Gama to a place called St Blaze, at which the squadron was to take in water, where the victuals with which she was loaded were to be distributed to the other ships, after which she was ordered to be burnt.

Having received their orders, Vasco de la Gama and the other captains took their leave of the king at Monte mayor, and departed for Lisbon, where he embarked his company of 148 persons, at Belem, on Saturday the 8th of July 1497.  At this embarkation all the religious belonging to the church of our Lady at Belem, went in procession in their cowls, bare-headed, and carrying wax candles, praying for the success of the expedition; accompanied by almost the whole people of Lisbon, weeping and deploring the fate of those who now embarked, as devoted to certain death in the attempt of so dangerous a voyage.  Thus commended to God and good fortune, the officers and crews embarked and immediately set sail.  Vasco de la Gama, the captain-general, took the command in the Angel Gabriel, of which Pedro de Alenquer was pilot, who had been in the same capacity with Diaz when he passed the Cape of Good Hope, and discovered the Rio del Infante.  Paulo de Gama went captain of the San Raphael, Nicholas Coello of the caravel Berrio, and Gonsalo Gomes[1], a servant of Vasco de la Gama, commanded the large victualling ship.  The captain-general gave out instructions, that in case of separation, they should keep their course for Cape Verd, which was appointed as their rendezvous.

Proceeding on the voyage, they came in sight of the Canaries in eight days, whence steering for Rio de Oro, they were separated by a tempest, during an exceedingly dark night, on which they all shaped their course for Cabo Verde.  Paulo de la Gama, Nicholas Coello, Bartholomew Diaz, and Gonsalo Gomes rejoined, and sailed together for eight days, when they came in sight of the captain-general on Wednesday evening, and saluted him with many guns, and the sound of trumpets, all heartily rejoicing for their safe meeting and good fortune in this their first essay of danger.  Next day, being the 20th of July[2], the fleet reached

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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