A routine entry from the journal of Antonio Pigafetta (c. 1491–c. 1536), who completed the circumnavigation of the globe begun by Magellan, tells of daily pain and deprivation.
On Wednesday the twenty-eighth of November, one thousand five hundred and twenty, we issued forth from the said strait [of Magellan] and entered the Pacific Sea, where we remained three months and twenty days without taking on board provisions or any other refreshments, and we ate only old biscuit turned to powder, all full of worms and stinking of the urine which the rats had made on it, having eaten the good.
And we drank water impure and yellow. We ate also ox hides which were very hard because of the sun, rain, and wind. And we left them four or five days in the sea, then laid them for a short time on embers, and so we ate them. And of the rats, which were sold for half an ecu [French silver coin] apiece, some of us could not get enough. Besides the aforesaid troubles, this malady was the worst, namely that the gums of most part of our men swelled above and below so that they could not eat.
And in this way they died, inasmuch as twenty-nine of us died…. For during this time we had no storm, and we saw no land except two small uninhabited islands, where we found only birds and trees. Wherefore we called them the Isles of Misfortune…. And I believe that nevermore will any man undertake to make such a voyage.