Janszoon Tasman was the first known
European explorer to reach Tasmania and New
Zealand and to sight Fiji. He also charted the
north coast of Australia, as well as many South
Dampier circumnavigated the world
three times as a privateer. Two of those voyages
ended in financial failure, however, and he died
before being able to enjoy his share of the third
voyage's bounty. He also made one of the first
scientific voyages to Australia and New Guinea.
Scott led an exploration of
Antarctica in 1902-1904 that reached further
south than any other humans, fixed the position
of the South Magnetic Pole, and undertook other
scientific investigations. He died in 1912, while
returning from a failed attempt to become the
first to reach the geographic South Pole.
was the first European to land on New Zealand,
the first ship commander to
prevent an outbreak of scurvy during an extended
voyage, sailed further south than any previous
navigator, and "discovered" the
Navigator Prince Henry of Portugal
sponsored numerous voyages along the western
coast of Africa. One of those voyages became the
first ever to sail beyond Cape Bojador, and
another the first to sail up the Gambia River.
Hakluyt was the author of The
Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries
of the English Nation, consisting of
eyewitness accounts and other records of more
than 200 voyages, in 1589. These stories stirred
up interest in navigation and colonization,
expecially in the New World.
Ledyard wrote the first great travel
story by an American to be published in the
United States. In 1786-1788 he walked alone from
Germany to eastern Siberia. He died soon after
getting permission to undertake an expedition to
explore the source of the Niger River in Africa.
of the Challenger
In May of 1876 a ship sailed into the harbor of
Spithead, England, home from a voyage of three
and a half years and 65,890 miles over the seven
seas. Her voyage was the first to undertake a
scientific exploration of the sea bottom. By the
time she returned home she had sounded the depths
of every ocean except the Arctic.
Dana was the author of Two Years
Before the Mast (1841), one of America's
most famous accounts of life at sea. Based on his
personal diary, the book describes the lives of
sailors in the ports, and a detailed account of
life on the California coast a decade before the
Gold Rush. He also wrote a handbook that included
a section of maritime law, and a book about a
trip he took to Cuba.
Alexander Henson became the first
man to reach the North Pole by "land"
on April 6, 1909, a full 45 minutes before the
leader of the expedition, Robert Peary.