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Sir Francis Drake

  Sir Francis Drake was a larger than life 16 century sea Captain who led the British toward becoming the dominate sea power.  He was a bold and skilled man.  His exploits made him rich beyond his dreams and earned him a place in history.

Drake's first missions were merchant voyages to the new world where under the tutelage of John Hawkins,  he ran contraband and slaves to the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and central America.

Drake's greatest voyage had to be his circumnavigation.  His crew apparently thought it was to be a trading voyage to Africa.  To the dismay of some, he ventured through the Straights of Magellan, to the west side of South America where he attacked the Spanish plundering great quantities of silver.

Subsequently he he made his way north to the bay bearing his name outside of San Francisco.  From there he worked his way west across the Pacific and Indian Oceans,  around Africa and north up the Atlantic to return to England.  He completed the first English circumnavigation of the planet and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for doing so.

On Mustang Sally's voyage through California, we have been whining about the fog.  But check out this historical reference from one of Drakes crew.

In 38 deg.30 min. We fell in with a fit and convenient harbor and June 17, came to anchor there, where we stayed till the 23 July. During all which time, not withstanding it was the height of summer, we were continually visited with nipping cold, neither could we at any time within a fourteen day period find the air so clear as to be able to take height the sun or stars. [from The World Encompassed]

Drake performed two other historical feats.  In the first,  he led a daring raid against the Spanish who were building the Armada in Cadiz to invade and subdue the English.  Drake and his crew raided the ship yards and burned much of the material to be used.

His last great feat was his role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in the English channel.  He captured the Spanish Armada's leading ship and with the help of some bad weather,  the English fleet prevailed and the Spanish fled in disarray.

Sir Francis Drake.  How many men today get the opportunity to carry out comparable feats of greatness?