"GREAT EXPLORERS" by the Senior Room - Have a look!

Abel Tasman By Sean Casey 4th Class

It all started when Christopher Columbus sailed to the Bahamas. Columbus didn’t go for the gold. He went for the spices and silks. He was looking for India and China. However European explorers who came after him were looking for gold.

Abel Tasman was the most famous Dutch explorer. He was born in 1603 but no one knows what month or date. He was born in Lutjegast in Holland. He didn’t have any brothers or sisters. He had one daughter. His real name was Abel Janszoon Tasman. He married Joanna Tjaerts. He died in Batavia in 1659. He is buried on the island of Java.

Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand and Fiji. He sailed around Australia without even knowing it was there. It took three months to get to New Zealand. He sailed to Tonga as well. He had two ships-Heemsterk and Zeehaen. He was attacked on one of his voyages. The Maori a tribe in New Zealand killed three of his crew and another man dying of his wounds. He named this bay Murderers Bay. He celebrated Christmas dinner in New Zealand sheltering from a storm. In May 28th 1648 he commanded a fleet of eight ships sent to raid Spanish ships carrying silver from the New World. In January 1649 on his return, he was removed from office for the ill treatment of one of his crew. He retired and began trading as a merchant. They were in Cape Maria when they put a small boat in the water natives came out throwing stones at them.

There is an island named after him-Tansmania. There is a national park named after in New Zealand and Fiji. He was a good man.

Amerigo Vespucci by Eoghan Canavan 6th Class

Amerigo was born and raised in Florence. His parents were friends with the rulers of Italy at the time. He was born on the 9th of March 1454 into a rich family.

Little is known about his first voyage. We do know that he sailed to South America with a fleet of ships. It took five weeks to get there.

On his second voyage he attempted to sail south of South Africa and go to China so he could get silk and spices. He sailed for Spain’s services with Alonso de Ojeda. He hit land north of Africa which is now Guyana.

On his third voyage Amerigo sailed to South America again. He found out it was twice the size the rest of the world thought it was. He discovered Rio de Janeiro and Rio de Plata.

Amerigo was the first man to discover that America isn’t East Asia- that it is a different country altogether.

Amerigo died in 1512 because he was bitten by a mosquito with a disease called Malaria. He was only 58 years old. The Americas are named after him because of the work he did exploring and discovering. In 2012 a coin was made for him.

In 1497 he married his first and only wife. In 1505 he changed his nationality to Spanish.

Ferdinand Magellan by Liam Reilly 6th Class

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was the first to attempt to sail around the world. Unfortunately he died before he finished.

He was born in Portugal 1480. His parents died when he was a child then he was sent to be a servant to the queen. As a young child he became a sailor.

He set sail with his 5 boats and his crew on 20th of September 1519. They headed to Brazil then South America. One boat crashed there- the remaining 4 sailed on. As he was going through the Philippines a battle arrow killed him in 1521.

Francisco Pizarro by Darragh Canavan 5th Class

Spain and Portugal have been the birthplace of explorers, even before Christopher Columbus’s arrival in 1492. Many brave explorers have gone where no man has gone before and my subject, Francisco Pizarro is one of those men. Now listen as I tell you his achievements.

Francisco Pizarro was born in 1478 in Cáceres, Spain. His full name was Francisco Pizarro Gonzalez and he was also second cousins to Hernan Cortez, the conqueror of the Aztecs in Mexico. In 1513 he joined the expedition of Nunez de Balboa’s and they found the Pacific Ocean.

While traveling with Nunez he traded with the natives of a nearby island. On another expedition he helped find Costa Rica. It was around that time he decided to go on an expedition of his own He eventually got enough money to fund his own expedition.

He sailed to the south of Panama where he found a little amount of gold. He when he returned to Spain he went on another expedition with Diego de Almargo and they found a land we call Peru.

However he could not just take over because the country was populated by people called the Incas.So he captured king of Peru, Atahualpa and killed him in 1532. He then founded the capital city of Peru, Lima. He stayed in Peru until he died in 1541.

Hernan Cortes by Joey Martin 6th Class

In the 1400s and 1500s many European explorers went to the Americas to discover riches. This trend was started by Christopher Columbus.

Hernan Cortes was born in Badajoz, Spain in 1485. His mother was 20 and his father was 40 when he was born. Hernan was an only child. Through his mother Hernan was second cousin of Francisco Pizarro who conquered the Inca Empire. Cortes was 5’4 which was very tall in Spain at the time.

Hernan arrived in Mexico in 1519. With him he had about 11 ships, 500 men, 13 horses, and a small number of cannons. Cortes was given a lot of gold from the Aztec people to keep him away but Cortes didn’t trust them and he took the emperor Montezuma hostage. Hernan thought the Aztecs were barbaric because they regularly performed human sacrifices. When Montezuma couldn’t get the Aztecs to accept Cortes as their leader, Cortes killed Montezuma. Some people believe that the Aztecs killed Montezuma. By 1921 Cortes had conquered and destroyed the Aztec Empire. Cortes and his men gave smallpox to half of the Aztec population. He gave them blankets which were contaminated by smallpox and he was accused of poisoning them. Cortes had to return to Spain to prove his innocence to the king. In 1530 he was freed from the charges and returned to Mexico.

Hernan went on to have 13 children with 13 different women. Hernan Cortes died at the age of 62. In his later life he was mostly ignored and people had very little respect for him. He was famous for being a great explorer but, also a very greedy man.

James Cook - by Aaron Groden 5th Class

James Cook was born on the 27 of October 1798 in Martin in England. His father was a farmer but James felt the lure of the sea. When he was 18 he took an apprenticeship as a merchant seaman. James did well and was advancing, but decided to enlist in the royal navy at the start of the seven years’ war.

During the war James became a master of mapmaking. His skill at surveying, navigating and making large accurate maps was soon noticed by the people high up in the navy. James was given the Endeavour and command of it by England’s royal society. It was a cat coiler. It was used to carry and transport coal. It was slow but durable and could carry lots of supplies.

He made his crew bathe every day for health. He also made them clean their beds and eat fruit and vegetables to prevent them from getting sick.

He made his voyage in 1768 his objective was to observe the planet Venus as it was between the Earth and the sun. He also hoped to find the Southern continent. He ended up discovering New Zealand and Australia.

Roald Amundsen by Conor Cannon 5th Class

Roald Amundsen was born on July 16th 1872 in Borge, Ostfold. He had three brothers called Leon, Gustav and Tonni Amundsen. He had no sisters or wife. His parents were Jens Amundsen and Hanna Sahlqvist. His full name was Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen. His mother wanted him to grow up to be a doctor. His dad died when Roald was 14 years old. His mum died when he was 21 and he quit University and became an explorer.

He is known for being the first person to reach the South Pole. He and his team set out on September 8th, 1991. He was in a race with British explorer Robert Falcon Scott to be the first to reach the South Pole.

It took Roald 94 days or 13 weeks and 6 days to reach the South Pole. At one point he was attacked by a polar bear and nearly killed. The airship that he went in was 350 feet long and was filled with hydrogen gas. He put up his country flag on the South Pole. He killed his own dogs as a source of fresh meat. He and his team used skis and dogs sleds.

In June 1928, while taking part in a rescue mission for the airship Italia, the plane he was in disappeared.

Vasco da Gama by Simon Foy 6th Class

Vasco Gama was a Portuguese explorer who was the first man to discover the ocean route from Portugal to India.

Vasco was born in Sines, Aletejo, Kingdom of Portugal 1460. He had four brothers and one sister. His parents were called Estevao da Gama and his mother was called Isabel Sodre. He also had kids of his own with his wife Catarina de Ataide. He had six sons and one daughter.

Before Vasco set off on his journey he sailed to Africa and it was there he was appointed the captain job due to the navigating experience that he got from the Navy.

On the 8th of May 1497 Vasco set off on the ship “Gabriel” with his younger brother Paublo. Vasco’s crew set off right behind them on their journey from Africa to India.

By the time they got to the Indian Ocean half of his crew had died due to Scurvy. Scurvy is a disease resulting from a lack of vitamin C.

They sailed for 23 days before arriving in Calicut in India. They stayed in India for more than three months. Vasco died from parasites which come from mosquitos in Kochi, India on the 24th of December 1524. He was then brought back to Portugal and he was buried in Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal.


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