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Exploration in the Pacific

“After Magellan’s daring voyage round South America and across to the Philippines (1519-1521), the magnet of Pacific exploration was Terra Australis Incognita, the great southern continent supposed to lie between the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan.” Others followed.

Alvaro de Mendana, the Spanish voyager, sailed from Callao in Peru in 1567; Quiros went out from Callao in 1605 with the Portuguese Luiz de Vaez de Torres; the English circumnavigations by Drake (1577-1580) and Cavendish (1586-1588); the Dutch merchant Isaac Ie Maire, with Willem Corneliszoon Schouten, reached the Pacific in 1615 via Cape Horn (which they named); much later (1721), another Dutch expedition, under Jacob Roggeveen, left the Netherlands. More followed. Then, in the dawn hours of January 18, 1778, on his third expedition, British explorer Captain James Cook on the HMS Resolution and Captain Charles Clerke of the HMS Discovery first sighted what Cook named the Sandwich Islands (that were later named the Hawaiian Islands.)

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