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Vessel S.Gabriel from XV century... 13 years 5 months ago #154

  • oliveira
  • oliveira's Avatar Topic Author
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I am trying to go to XV century. The golden age of maritime discoveries of Portuguese and Spanish sailors.

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Was the navigator Vasco da Gama only 28 years old that accept to command this vessel at the end of XV century. He discover the maritime way to India in the most audacious trip for ever, comparable in our days to the challenge in the space as the landing on the Moon..
Technical Characteristics of this vessel:
100 a 120 tons
Lenght: about 20 meters
Artillery: 20 cannons
Crew: about 50 men

An Historic Description

Ships of the XV century were built in Lisbon or at Porto, with timbers cut from the crown forests, The three Vasco da Gama expedition vessels S.Gabriel , S.Rafael,  Bérrio were built in Lisbon. The S. Gabriel was the more important. Why? It was rigged with three masts (Fore, Main and Mizzen) supporting a constellation of sails, used to coordinate velocity and close hauled sailing, associated with the already well known knowledge of currents and winds on navigated waters induced an establishment of routes which permitted taking immediate advantage of the prevailing winds. The vessel had also a majestic aspect. Intentionally the Cross of Christ was not used. It was feared that ostentation would be interpreted as a provocation, which could jeopardise the expedition's success.

The vessels were prepared with a large quantity of supplies and spare parts, such as sails, anchors and ammunitions. Privileges and wages never received before were given to the crews, which depicted the importance surrounding this journey.

The fleet left on the 8th of July 1497; seven days later they reached Canary Islands. The ships lose sight from each other and regain it again at the Cape Verde archipelago, where the fleet remained some days. They heaved anchor from St.Tiago and sailed in a westerly direction in order to make use of the favourable Elysian winds in the Atlantic, and navigated three months without seeing land. They dropped finally anchor in November in a bay they named St. Helena. The Cape of Good Hope is rounded later reaching the Angra de St. Bras. The journey continued and on and they reached Mozambique, proceeded to Mombassa and to Melinde. They were received well, in contrast with the hostile episodes at Mozambique and Mombassa. It is in Melinde that the sultan places the famous Indic Ocean Pilot Ahmed-Ibn-Madjid at their service. Having left they sighted Calecute on the 17th of May.

After a rather disturbed stay, they set sail toward Angediva Island where preparations to comeback to the kingdom were initiated permitting the departure at the 5th of October of 1498. The S.Rafael, received hull damage hitting shallows around the Mozambique Island and is abandoned, profiting S.Gabriel from the inheritance of her spares and also from the image of St. Rafael (Patron saint from Gama's family), being exhibited today at the Navy Museum in Lisbon. The crew was distributed between the other two ships, S.Gabriel and Bérrio, at the time both poorly supplied of crews. Captain falls seriously ill and dies in agony at Terceira Island. Finally, on the 18th of August of 1499 the vessels S.Gabriel and Bérrio and the expedition survivors touch land in Lisbon where they were triumphantly received.

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Last edit: by oliveira.
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