João de Trasto
captained in 1415
the first exploratory
expedition dispatched by Prince Henry the Navigator
. Probably departing from the port of Lagos
, the Portuguese nobleman
was forced by foul weather
to part of the Grand Canary
island called Telli. Returning to Portugal, he again encountered a fierce storm
and only with great difficulty arrived in port
Though the mission failed to reach any undiscovered territory, Henry persisted and ultimately succeeded in rediscovering numerous Atlantic islands and charting most of the western coast of Africa.
The story of Trasto is related by contemporary historian Diogo Gomez, himself a former explorer under Prince Henry. Gomez, generally reliable, committed several errors regarding the dates of early voyages; some modern scholars have suggested Henry's first expedition departed as early 1412, but there is no solid evidence for the assertions.
- Major, Richard Henry. The Life of Prince Henry of Portugal surnamed the Navigator and Its Results from Authentic Contemporary Documents. Ed. John Ralph Willis. Second Edition. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 1967. Pages 64-65.