Fun November Fact – 11/22/1497 – Vasco de Gama sailed around the Cape of Good Hope

Fun November Fact – On November 22, 1497, Vasco de Gama sailed around the Cape of Good Hope…

A whopping 516 years ago today, on November 22, 1497, Portugal’s Vasco da Gama became the first navigator to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in  search of a sea route to India –


Vasco da Gama’s successful voyage opened profitable trade routes from Europe to India, particularly for spices, that changed the course of history.

Take a peek at the history of ships and navigation to give your kids/grandkids an idea of what explorers like Vasco da Gama faced when setting out on a journey. As this website explains: 

Getting there involved danger, technical skill, patience and courage. We may well look back on these men and their exploits now and consider them romantic. However, being stuck on a leaky, wooden boat for months (sometimes years) on end, on a diet at times of only dry beef and biscuits, wouldn’t be much fun. You might have to drink putrid water and sleep with filthy companions in over-crowded between-decks accommodation which you shared with everybody else; well, – that’s not anybody’s idea of a good time.

Although de Gama’s exploratory feat was remarkable and historically important, decide for yourselves whether this kind of exploration would be a good time (especially the filthy companions part)! Ha!


About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 11.22.13
    Shell said:

    Fun! What a cool grandma you are! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  2. 11.23.13

    I am compiling your facts so that I can make sure my babies always know the whole story! (SO true- travel wasn’t as romantic as we want to think… it’s not the Princess Cruise line!)

  3. 11.23.13

    I used to teach about all the explorers in 5th grade! LOVE it!

  4. 11.25.13

    I don’t even like dried beef for a snack – imagine eating it for months on end?!? yuck!

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