Intrigued by the promise of fame and riches, Magellan developed an interest in maritime discovery in those early years.
Clove was the most valuable spice in Europe during Magellan's day.
It was used to flavor food, but Europeans also believed that its essence could improve vision, its powder could relieve fevers, and mixed with milk it could enhance intercourse.
The Portuguese easily overwhelmed the Moroccan forces, and Magellan stayed on in Morocco.
While there he was seriously wounded in a skirmish, which left him with a limp for the rest of his life.
On August 10, 1519 Magellan bade farewell to his wife and young son, neither of whom he would ever see again, and the Armada De Moluccas set sail.
Magellan commanded the lead ship Trinidad and was accompanied by four other ships: the San Antonio, the Conception, the Victoria, and the Santiago.
Europeans had reached the Spice Islands by sailing east, but none had yet to sail west from Europe to reach the other side of the globe. By now an experienced seaman, Magellan approached King Manuel of Portugal to seek his support for a westward voyage to the Spice Islands. In 1517 a frustrated Magellan renounced his Portuguese nationality and relocated to Spain to seek royal support for his venture.
When Magellan arrived in Seville in October 1517, he had no connections and spoke little Spanish.
In the 15th century, spices were at the epicenter of the world economy, much like oil is today.
Highly valued for flavoring and preserving food as well as masking the taste of meat gone bad, spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and especially black pepper, were extremely valuable.
The voyage through the strait was treacherous and cold, and many sailors continued to mistrust their leader and grumble about the dangers of the journey ahead.
In the early days of the navigation of the strait, the crew of the San Antonio forced its captain to desert, and the ship turned and fled across the Atlantic Ocean back to Spain.
At age 12 Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese and Fernando de Magallanes in Spanish) and his brother Diogo traveled to Lisbon to serve as pages at Queen Leonora’s court.