Drake, Sir Francis

Sir Francis Drake, one of history's great seamen and adventurers (b near Tavistock, Eng 1540?; d off Panama 28 Jan 1596). He likely sighted VANCOUVER ISLAND on his voyage around the world (1577-80). After plundering Spanish ships off Mexico, Drake tried to find a polar route back to England; the supposition that he sailed north to Vancouver Island is based on a study of the winds and currents of the northwestern Pacific.