Did you know that there were pirates on the Cíes Islands?

Yes, not long ago, in the XVI-XVIII centuries, the history of las islas cíes estuvo marcada por la constante presence in its waters of pirate ships and enemy armies that sought shelter from the storms or stopped to make repairs and stock up on fresh water, when they were not using them as a base of operations for their misdeeds on the nearby coasts, Vigo and Baiona specifically.

I would like to tell you the story of Francis Drake, the English sailor whose adventures were a headache for Spanish interests.

The beginnings of Francis Drake

His first shipment was made when he was only 13 years old, rising in category over the years, in the year 1567 he already made his first expedition whose mission was to trade with slaves, the route took them through African waters to later cross the Atlantic and sell these men on islands such as Margarita and Dominica .

his first loss

On his return to England, a storm diverted his fleet to the Gulf of Mexico, an area dominated by Spanish ships, Drake and his fleet were defeated losing part of his fleet.

Despite the existence of a formal truce between the crowns of Spain and England, during that time the armed incidents between the two maritime powers became more violent and frequent. In fact, the continuous incursions of English ships into Peruvian colonial watersmade the Spanish Crown consider any navigator who entered Pacific waters as a pirate and should treat him as such.

His capture

In 1572, he embarked again with the intention of attacking the Spanish troops in the area of Panama, where the Spanish fleet of the Indies used to take supplies before crossing the ocean back to the Iberian Peninsula. In July of that year he failed in his attempt to seize the Spanish fleet, being wounded. He remained in the area all that year, and in 1573, allied with the French sailor Guillermo Le Testu, he captured a Spanish convoy loaded with gold and silver.

When Drake returned to England on August 9, 1573, the mere thirty sailors who accompanied him were all rich for life. Queen Elizabeth I of England, who sponsored other pirates like him, also sponsored his expeditions and raids, despite the fact that she had signed a temporary truce with Spain, so she did not officially recognize Drake’s acts, but benefited from them. .

Will continue in chapter 2