Drake’s Navigational Skills

By Richard Boulind, published November 1968


Sir Francis Drake’s acquisition of cartography, navigation and cosmography skills began in earnest during his first independent voyage to the Isthmus of Panama (1572-3). Subsequent events including numerous raids against Spanish trade in the Indies, the Armada and the circumnavigation of the world provided Drake with the opportunity to establish his reputation as England’s greatest sailor. Drake plundered Spanish charts, records and equipment and learnt much from captured Iberian trained pilots. Ultimately his courage and tenacity during his voyages enabled him to deliver to his sovereign rich military and trade advantages.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Tudors | Francis Drake | The Armada | Caribbean
Subjects include: Biography | Navies | Science & Exploration

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