This sweeping narrative tells the enthralling story of one of the most exciting periods of human discovery: the first 250 years of European exploration of the Pacific Ocean.
In 1513 the Spanish adventurer Vasco Nunez de Balboa stood on a mountaintop in Panama and beheld a seemingly endless expanse of calm water. Thus began a new age of exploration.
The prize that spurred the European seafaring countries was control of the fabled Spice Islands. Pacific Passions recounts some of the most heroic voyages in human history and places them in historical context. From the Spanish-Portuguese guerrilla war for the Spice Islands to the Dutch rebellion against Spanish maritime hegemony, here is the race to conquer the vast, remaining unknown stretches of the Earth.
The other spur to exploration was the presumed existence of a huge continent in the Southern Hemisphere that was commonly referred to as Terra Australis Incognita. Pacific Passions follows the ambitious and often disastrous attempts to locate Terra Australis, until Captain James Cook finally exploded the myth. It is history at its most exciting.