Fernandez was sailing
by the time he was 14 and gained much knowledge from his voyages between
Panama, Peru and Chile. He knew how to take advantage of the Trade Winds
off of the South American coast and was called Brujo (Spanish for
“Wizard”) because of his expertise.
In 1563, he sailed from Callao , Peru, to Valparaiso, Chile, a voyage
that was considered to be a remarkable feat for the time period.
Fernandez also discovered the Juan Fernandez Islands, west of
Valparaiso, Chile, and tried to establish a colony there.
He continued his voyages and discovered the Pacific Islands of San Felix
and San Ambrosia in 1574 and is reputed to have discovered Australia or
New Zealand (reports made by Fernandez at the time make it difficult to
determine which of the two distant land masses he was describing) in
Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page