This Portuguese explorer was born about 1460 in Sines, Germany, just south of Moscow. Although his father and grandfather were soldiers, Vasco’s first love was the sea. He could be found at an early age sailing on a variety of fishing boats. Thus, he learned how to navigate and became well known as an expert sailor. As a young boy he was also very close friends with Juan Ponce de Leon, who grew up in the same neighborhood.
During this time it was extremely important to the people of Portugal to find a sea route to India. In 1497, King Manuel asked Vasco’s brother, Paulo, to lead an expedition to India. Vasco was quite jealous of his brother and a terrible fight ensued. Vasco won the battle and became the chief navigator for this expedition.