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Mark Fedorov
Mark Fedorov

Galleon So I Begin


A particular feature of galleons was the impressive number of heavy cannons they could carry. An even bigger version of this class was the Spanish galleon, which compromised speed for greater cargo capacity. The Spanish galleons were used to transport goods from the New World and Asia in the Spanish treasure fleets which sailed to Europe and so they became an irresistible target for pirates and privateers.




Galleon So I Begin



The galleon was created to meet the new challenges of naval warfare where the strategy of boarding an enemy vessel was replaced by blasting it out of the water using heavy cannons. The galleon, therefore, combined the best design features of three types of ship:


Famous carracks include the Santa Maria of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) and the Victoria, which completed the first circumnavigation of the globe in 1522 as part of the expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480-1521). In the second half of the 16th century, the dominance of the carrack was challenged by the appearance of a new vessel: the galleon.


The galleon was larger and more seaworthy than its predecessors in European navies. It was used as both a merchant vessel and the warship of choice for European maritime powers. The galleon combined the best design features of the caravel and carrack but had much lower forecastles, was faster, more manoeuvrable, and could carry many more heavy cannons. The distinctive beak-like prow of the galleon was inspired by the more pronounced version on a galley.


The galleon usually had a length-to-beam ratio of 3:1. Galleons had a smooth carvel hull, often made of Indian teak, Brazilian hardwood, or Asian hardwoods like molave and lanang. The exterior of the hull was covered with a thick black tar mixture above the waterline to prevent rot. Below the waterline, hot pitch was used to coat the planks to increase the water resistance of the wood. Then a mixture of pitch and tallow (animal fat) was smeared all over the hull to deter marine animals and especially shipworms.


The reduced superstructures of the galleon were used for accommodation for officers and marines while ordinary crew members - who could number over 300 - slept in cramped conditions below deck in a period when the hammock had yet to fully catch on.


Counterbalancing the superstructures were an array of heavy cannons, arranged below decks on both sides of the ship. When required for battle, the muzzles of the cannons were rolled out to point through gun ports, wooden windows in the deck which could be closed when not in use. These gun ports ran down both sides of the ship, sometimes with multiple levels. In addition - and unlike the carrack - a galleon could fire cannons from both the bow and stern. A large Spanish galleon could carry at least 40 heavy cannons below decks. Additional smaller cannons were mounted on swivel posts at various points on the top deck; these typically had a calibre of 90 mm (3.5 inches). A major disadvantage of galleon firepower was that the cannons were so heavy they could not be turned very much, if at all, towards a fast-moving opponent, the ship itself had to turn to keep an enemy vessel in range.


As ship captains tried to carry more and more cannons, so galleons became bigger, culminating in the Spanish galleon class. These ships also had thicker hulls to better withstand cannon shots. Cannons were not only needed in naval battles but to fight off the privateers and pirates who lay in wait for ships carrying the treasures of the empire across the globe. Indeed, over time, the bulky Spanish galleon with its markedly larger sterncastle was often reduced to use as a cargo carrier only because the compromise in speed and manoeuvrability their greater size necessitated made them less useful against more agile smaller galleons in sea battles. These cargo ships could, though, still fire tremendous broadsides.


Spanish galleons famously brought to Europe the gold of the Americas and the silver of East Asia via the Spanish Philippines - the Manila galleons - while the Portuguese version helped maintain such colonies as the Estado da India and Portuguese Brazil. This made them irresistible targets not only for the pirates of the Caribbean but pirates anywhere from the Azores to the Straits of Malacca.


The Revenge was another famous English galleon, used by Drake as his flagship in the battle with the Spanish Armada. The Revenge gained even greater fame when, in 1591 in the Azores, it was captained by Sir Richard Grenville (1542-1591). A small English fleet lay in wait for Spanish treasure ships but was surprised by a much larger fleet, perhaps 56 ships. As his fellow captains raised anchor and fled, Grenville was left to face the enemy alone. The Revenge put up a heroic defence for over 15 hours, sinking two enemy ships and damaging many others, but eventually, it succumbed to the inevitable, and Grenville died of his wounds. The capture of the Revenge became the stuff of legend and was commemorated in songs, art, and literature for centuries thereafter.


Perhaps the most famous book, packed full of depictions of caravels, carracks, and galleons, and other vessels of the period sorted by expedition fleets, is the mid-16th century Livro das Armadas now in the Academy of Sciences in Lisbon. Another interesting catalogue of ships is the 1616 Livro das Traças de Carpinteria, which is, in effect, a construction manual and so shows illustrations of specific parts of ships in detail. A celebrated 1626 engraving by Friedrich van Hulsen shows the Golden Hind and the Cacafuego in close battle. The engraving is now in the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. Galleons and sea battles became a favourite subject of many oil painters, too, particularly the Flemish masters. Finally, full-size replicas capable of sailing the seas have been made of several galleon ships, notably the Golden Hind on the south bank of the River Thames, London. Another fine example of a scale replica is the 17th-century Spanish galleon El Galeón (Galeón Andalucía), moored in Quebec City, Canada.


If you have a car, you're probably pretty happy about the crazy-low gas prices currently popping up around the country. At the very moment I'm writing this, AAA reports that the average price of a galleon of gas in the US is just $2.06, and it's going down fast. If trends continue, we're due to get under $2 VERY soon, so wouldn't you say it's about time to start planning a road trip?


Here at Brad's Deals, we're dedicated to helping you live large while saving big, so we put together this infographic in an effort to inspire you to take to the open road. We've picked 5 hot road trip destinations and calculated how much a round trip car ride would be from 7 of the most populated cities across the country, and then we compared that number to how much that same trip would have cost just one year ago, when gas prices averaged about $3.30 a galleon.


To make these calculations, we used the average gas mileage for a new car, which is 24.8 miles per galleon, so if you've got a car with either higher or lower gas mileage, these numbers are not going to be exact. We also didn't account for tolls, roadside meals or motels. What's listed here is just meant to help you estimate about how much you'll spend on gas when driving to one of these fantastic places, and show you how much you're saving by going now, while gas is dirt cheap!


Archaeologist Scott S. Williams noted during his investigations that the galleon sank near Manzanita, a small coastal town in Oregon which still retains its Spanish name, located in Tillamook County. It appears that 231 people were traveling on the ship, of whom perhaps many survived, and that, according to passenger records carried out in the Philippines, approximately 170 of the men on board were Spanish, including nobles, soldiers and clergy, as well as common sailors, and about 64 crew members were Filipino-Hispanic, Chinese, Malaysians, and possibly Japanese and Africans.


The second candidate, the galleon San Francisco Xavier, disappeared in 1705 after leaving Cavite for Acapulco. Sailor and historian Cesáreo Fernández Duró, in volume VI of his work Armada Española desde la unión de los Reinos de Castilla y Aragón, states that after its departure nothing was heard of it,


According to David G. Lewis, by 1805 the son of the survivor of the shipwreck named Soto may have become a chief on his own and settled in a village upstream from the site of the galleon wreck. This tribe would have been politically aligned, like other autonomous villages, with one of the main tribes of Chinookans, and the likely alliance would be with the Multnomah. Soto would be the head of his village and by then he would be of advanced age, at least 50 years or more. As for the second reference, this is the one that appears in the accounts of the explorer Gabriele Franchère, who in 1812 visited the town of Soto, located upriver in front of the island that Lewis and Clarke had called Strawberry. There, Franchére recounts, they met an old blind man, who gave them a cordial reception, and the guide who accompanied them said that he was a white man and that his name was Soto. Through the knowledge of an old man they learned that he was the son of a Spaniard who had been shipwrecked at the mouth of the river, and that part of the crew managed to reach land safely, but all were massacred by the Clatsop, except for four, who were saved and married native women. The old man also told them that the four Spaniards tried to reach a settlement of their own town to the south, but were never heard from again, and that when their father and his companions left the place, he himself was quite young.


The third reference that we know about the town of Soto is the one made in 1813 by Alexander Henry. It seems that this town was then a safe haven for trappers, not like others nearby that used to be very hostile and defensive towards fur traders. The location of the town in this account would also be higher than that determined by Lewis and Clark. Although we have to bear in mind, as David G. Lewis explains, that it was not uncommon for villages to move periodically for various resource gathering activities (fishing camps, root gathering camps, hunting camps) and for seasonal life (winter village, summer village). In fact, the Cascades tribe, just above the village of Soto mentioned by Henry and Franchére, would move annually to a village on an island off Fort Vancouver, probably the island of Hayden, as its winter village. Knowing the legends of the natives and the accounts of European explorers regarding the survivors of the shipwreck, it is believed that the ship that was lost off the Oregon Coast was the Santo Cristo de Burgos. This hypothesis is reinforced by the fact that on the list of the crew and passengers traveling in it, a sailor appears on board called Francisco de Soto. We can find him both in the first visit that was made to the galleon in the port of Cavite in June 1692 (Francisco de Zotto, the penultimate on the list of sailors that appears in image 126), as in the second, and final visit that was made to the galleon in the bay of San Miguel, in the cove of Naga, in July 1693, before leaving back towards Acapulco (Francisco de Soto, number 13 on the list in image 864). 041b061a72


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