European Exploration of America

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What was the typical duration of 15th or 16th century sea voyages?

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There were a lot of factors that went into calculating the length of a 15th and 16th century sea voyage. Weather, wind, and the quality of the ship are among the most important. However, let us discuss the common voyages between Europe and North America as a starting point. Most research says that these voyages took anywhere from a month to 6 weeks or more. The Mayflower, for instance, left England on September 6th, 1620 and arrived on November 9th in America. This was a total of 66 days for the voyage—around two months.

Another example was with Columbus. His first voyage to the New World set sail on August 3rd, 1492 and landed in Latin America on October 12th. This was nearly two months at sea, which falls in line with most voyages in the 15th and 16th century. Keep in mind that these lengths could easily be extended based on the conditions at sea.

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