The Strait of Magellan: A passage through time and space.

strait of magellan satellite pd

Four hundred and ninety-five years ago today, on November 1, 1520, a small fleet of Spanish ships commanded by Ferdinand Magellan entered the mouth of a small waterway near the southern tip of South America. Magellan and his navigators were hoping to find a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean which would enable European ships to circumnavigate the globe, and the stormy, wind-swept wastes of this forbidding passage seemed to offer a tantalizing possibility. The Victoria was the first of Magellan’s ships to traverse it after a peril-fraught passage through what was obviously a narrow, complicated and dangerous course. But the Spaniards had found what they were looking for. While originally named the Patagonia Strait, the waterway soon became known as the Strait of Magellan. The Spanish commander never lived to know that it was named for him. He was killed in the Philippines in 1521 and did…

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