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  • bartolomeu was a knight of the royal, knight superintendent of the royal warehouses, and sailing-master of the man-of-war,
  • King John II of Portugal appointed him, on 10 October 1487, to head an expedition to sail around the southern tip of Africa in the hope of finding a trade route to India
  • Dias' brother Pêro Dias was the captain of the square-rigged support ship with João de Santiago as pilot.
  • Dias' ship São Cristóvão was piloted by Pêro de Alenquer. A second caravel, the São Pantaleão, was commanded by João Infante and piloted by Álvaro Martins
  • The expedition sailed south along the west coast of Africa. Extra provisions were picked up on the way at the Portuguese fortress of São Jorge de Mina on the Gold Coast.
  • After having sailed past Angola, Dias reached the Golfo da Conceicão (Walvis Bay) by December.
  • . Continuing south, he discovered first Angra dos Ilheus, being hit, then, by a violent storm.
  • Thirteen days later, from the open ocean, he searched the coast again to the east, discovering and using the westerlies winds - the ocean gyre, but finding just ocean
  • Having rounded the Cape of Good Hope at a considerable distance to the west and southwest, he turned towards the east, and taking advantage of the winds of Antarctica that blow strongly in the South Atlantic, he sailed northeast.
  • After 30 days without seeing land, he entered what he named Aguada de São Brás (Bay of Saint Blaise)—later renamed Mossel Bay—on 4 February 1488. Dias's expedition reached its furthest point on 12 March 1488 when they anchored at Kwaaihoek, near the mouth of the Bushman's River, where a padrão—the Padrão de São Gregório—was erected before turning back.
  • It was only on the return voyage that he actually discovered the Cape of Good Hope, in May 1488. Dias returned to Lisbon in December of that year, after an absence of sixteen months.
  • Dias wanted to continue sailing to India, but he was forced to turn back when his crew refused to go further.
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