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Sailors of Hope: Aventura Zero Journal 9

“Marinheiros da Esperança”

ISBN 978-989-8159-97-7

London, 20 December 2020

Aventura Zero is having a rest on the Outremer pontoon La Grande Motte, while I have returned to London to get my Covid vaccination and decide on my future sailing plans.

A most enjoyable diversion from the spells of bad weather we had on the passage from Tenerife was reading an excellent book with the intriguing title of “Sailors of Hope”. Conceived by Ana Maria Principe and Emilia Dias da Costa, this original project was inspired by the story of the first round the world voyage, and has been produced in close collaboration with the Navies of Portugal, Spain and Italy. The outstanding feature of this book is its illustrations created by children undergoing treatment in various hospitals located along the route of that voyage.

From among the hundreds of beautiful drawings I have picked some of the most relevant, such as this one showing the three protagonists of that voyage: the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan, who initiated it, the Spaniard Juan Sebastian Elcano, who completed it, and the Italian Antonio Pigafetta, who kept a journal throughout that challenging voyage.

The depiction of the arrival of the five ships in Tenerife is the result of a joint effort by Yashira (12 years old), Ayara (13) and Jadhiel (6), all patients in La Candelaria Hospital on that island.

An often ignored protagonist of that expedition was Enrique, who was taken as a slave by Magellan on a previous visit to Malacca, and who was the first person to realise that they had reached the Spice Islands when he understood the language spoken by the natives at their first landfall in Asia. The drawing is by Martim (9), a patient at the Faro Hospital in Portugal.

Soon after the arrival in today’s Philippines, Magellan was killed in a fight with the natives of the island of Mactan, as depicted by 11-year old Lucas (Coimbra Hospital).

The arrival in Seville on 8 September 1522 is the work of 6-year old Isabel, a patient at the local Macarena Hospital.

The route of the first circumnavigation was designed by 16-year old Ana (Porto Hospital), who marked in red the section sailed by Magellan and in blue that by Elcano.

Hundreds of children were involved in this project, not only from hospitals in Portugal, Spain and Italy, but also Argentina, Brazil, the Azores, Canaries and Cape Verde Islands.

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1734)

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