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    Re: Portuguese shipwreck question
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2009 Oct 29, 23:43 -0000

    John Huth ("Apache Runner") wrote, about early Portuguese exploration-
    
    In the article, there's a map that shows a route taken
    | by their ships around Western Africa, and it swings quite wide.      I
    don't
    | know if the vessels were typically lateen rigged or square rigged, but I
    was
    | impressed how far west the route goes near the equator.   There's a strong
    | equatorial current in that region, and of course the Trades.   Naively I
    | might have thought they would hug the coast, but I could see some logic in
    a
    | course that swings far west, particularly if the vessels couldn't sail
    close
    | to the wind.  I'm thinking mainly about the latitudes south of the
    Canaries
    | and crossing the equator.   In the case where the vessels swing to the
    west,
    | there have been assertions that storm-blown vessels made landfall in what
    is
    | now Brazil.
    
    Vessels didn't just reach Brazil by accident of weather. That became the
    well-travelled route for sailing vessels from Europe to the East, via the
    Canaries, Cape Verde Islands, across the Atlantic to Brazil (Fernando de
    Noronha or Recife) , then Southward and Eastward across the South Atlantic,
    to pass Cape of Good Hope on a latitude line. It was the standard route well
    into the 20th century, for square-rig vessels.|
    
    John continued-
     I do know that Columbus, on his third voyage, had in the back of his mind
    | the notion from Don Joao of Portugal the idea that there was a continent
    | between Europe and Asia, which leads some credence to my colleague's
    | assertion.
    
    
    The first vessel to make that passage, as far as I'm aware, was Cabral, in
    1500; though of course there may have been others who failed to get into the
    history books. However this didn't precede Columbus' first Atlantic
    crossing; it was 8 years after it.
    
    George
    
    contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
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