A Secret Mission to Cross the Pacific

December 1, 1564. Spanish vessels left a secret port in Mexico about two weeks ago. Their goal: to sail across the Pacific and back, charting a new route for international trade, and giving Spain an edge against its chief colonial rival, Portugal. But today, when a storm hits, the smallest ship is separated from the rest of the fleet. Now, that ship, the San Lucas, is on its own. The following year, when the San Lucas makes it back to Mexico, against all odds, its pilot—a Black mariner—is accused of treason. How did the San Lucas—the smallest ship in the fleet—complete a near-impossible journey that would connect the world? And how did the trailblazing mariner Lope Martín get erased from the story?


Special thanks to our guest, Andrés Reséndez, author of Conquering the Pacific: An Unknown Mariner and the Final Great Voyage of the Age of Discovery.


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