In the early days of 1522, the deafening boom of large-bore cannons could be heard echoing off cerulean seas, somewhere southwest of Portugal’s coast.
The barrage of fire was meant as a warning. But a warning that very soon, could be directed much more accurately at the trio of vessels it was intended for.
The three ships that were the target of this harassment were returning home to Spain, heavily laden with riches and treasures that had been stolen from the Aztec empire of the New World. Their cargo was made up of exquisite pearls, exotic furs, fine jade masks, and thousands of gold coins, that were intended to be delivered as a tribute to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
In pursuit were five smaller, faster, and much more agile vessels. Vessels that in a short span of time, closed the gap between themselves and the larger ships.