Narrative of a Portuguese,
Companion of Odoardo Barbosa,
in the Ship
in the Year 1519.

(Author's name unknown)

Only a few lines of the unknown author's very short account pertain to the segment of the voyage between Seville and the entrance to the Pacific Ocean. In this online edition, parenthetical phrases are as follows:

(phrase):  As printed in original,
[phrase]:  An insertion by the Hakluyt editor,
{phrase}: An insertion in this online edition.

Icons in the text below are links to Google Earth 3D views of:
Placename or position mentioned in Albo text Same, mentioned in both Albo and Pigafetta texts
Same, mentioned in Pigafetta text Placename mentioned but not visited.
Same, mentioned in Bautista text Modern placename displayed for reference purposes
Same, mentioned in Anonymous Portuguese text Anchorage
Same, mentioned in Magellan text   
In Google Earth's Places column, a misplaced placename. 3D view shows misplaced position (red bullet) and correct position (blue or green bullet)
  • Click any icon within the text to open Google Earth. Then double-click any placename in Places column or 3D view to zoom in on that location. Zoom has no effect for offshore locations, since it would simply display the water surrounding that location.
  • Both Albo and Pigafetta give latitude but—with one exception—not longitude data. Therefore, the latter values have been assigned based on other information; bearings, distance, landfall description, etc.
  • An un-named location is identified by the date it was written, or by latitude mentioned.
  • View the fleet's track from Seville to the western mouth of the Strait of Magellan.
Key to Footnotes
*, †, ‡, ^from Hakluyt printed edition {none on this page}
§, §§, Δadded to this online edition

In the name of God and of good salvation. We departed from Seville with five ships on the tenth of August, in the year 1519, to go and discover the Molucca Islands. We commenced our voyage from San Lucar for the Canary Islands, and sailed south-west 960 miles, where we found ourselves at the island of Tenerife, in which is the harbour of Santa Cruz in twenty-eight degrees of north latitude. And from the island of Tenerife we sailed southwards 1680 miles, when we found ourselves in four degrees of north latitude . From these four degrees of north latitude we sailed south-west, until we found ourselves at the Cape of Saint Augustin, which is in eight degrees of south latitude, having accomplished 1200 miles. And from Cape Saint Augustin, we sailed south and by south-west 864 miles, where we found ourselves in twenty degrees of south latitude. From twenty degrees of south latitude, being at sea, we sailed 1500 miles south-west, when we found ourselves near the river, whose mouth is 108 miles wide, and lies in thirty-five degrees of the said south latitude. We named it the river of Saint Christopher.§

§ The river's name is a bit of a puzzle: it was the custom to name a place after the saint whose feast day coincided with the ship's arrival. But the Victoria arrived in late January, and Feast Day of St. Christopher is July 25. Perhaps the saint's name was significant to someone on the ship, but in any case it didn't stick, and it was subsequently named Rio de la Plata.

From this river we sailed 1638 miles south-west by west, where we found ourselves at the point of the Lupi Marini,§ which is in forty-eight degrees of south latitude . And from the point of the Lupi Marini we sailed south-west 350 miles, where we found ourselves in the harbour of Saint Julian, and stayed there five months waiting for the sun to return towards us, because in June and July it appears for only four hours each day. From this harbour of Saint Julian, which is in fifty degrees, we departed on the 24th of August, 1520, and sailed westward§§ a hundred miles, where we found a river to which we gave the name of Santa Cruz Δ, and there we remained until the 18th of October. This river is in fifty degrees.

§ Possibly, the modern Punta Medanosa. “Lupi Marini” is Italian for sea wolves {ie, sea lions}. Presumably, Ramusio translated the Portuguese author's Leões de mar into Italian, and the Hakluyt editor neglected to translate it into English. The distance between Lupi Marini and San Julián is only about 120 miles.

§§ Actually about 60 miles south by west, then 30 miles westward.

Δ See the Rio Santa Cruz entry on the Placenames page for the presumed date of arrival.

We departed thence on the 18th of October, and sailed along the coast 378 miles south-west by west, where we found ourselves in a strait, to which we gave the name Strait of Victoria, because the ship Victoria was the first that had seen it: some called it the Strait of Magelhaens, because our captain was named Fernando de Magalhaens. The {eastern} mouth of this strait is in fifty-three degrees and a half, and we sailed through it 400 miles to the other {western} mouth, which is in the same latitude of fifty-three degrees and a half. We emerged from this strait on the 27th of November, 1520, and sailed between west and north-west 9858 miles, until we found ourselves upon the equinoctial line.