July 8, 1479 Vasco da Gama departs Portugal as Commander-in-Chief of four ships, one of the others captained by his brother Paulo da Gama. Da Gama's fleet would sail down the west coast of Africa to the fort of São Jorge de Mina (accompanied by Bartholomeu Dias) before setting out in a wide curve across the Atlantic and back to reach the Cape of Good Hope and beyond."We left from Restelo [A watering point 4 miles down the river Tagus from the port of Lisbon, a point where outgoing ships replenished supplies] one Saturday, the 8th day of July of the said year, 1479, on out journey. May God our Lord allow us to complete it in His service, Amen."1
1 Quote taken from Vasco da Gama: The Diary of His Travels through African Waters by Eric Axelson, Stephan Phillips © 1988, ISBN 062022388X.
Image "Tribute to Vasco da Gama" © tiseb 2006