Vasco da Gama was born in 1469 in Sines, Portugal. He was the third son of Estavan da Gama, a nobleman, and for a while the mayor of Sines. In Vasco's youth he participated in the wars agianst Castile. As Vasco grew older he gained a reputation of being a fierce warrior and an exceptional navigator. From this reputation Vasco had been assigned by King Manuel I four ships and a crew of 170 men, not including himself, on a task finding a water route from Europe to Asia. His four ships were the Sao Gabriel, which Vasco was the captain of, the Sao Rafael, which Vasco's brother Paulo da Gama was in charge of, the Berrio, which Nicolau Coelho was in charge of, and finally a supply ship, which was lead by Goncalo Nunes. Vasco's ship along with his brother's were both 27m x 8.5m, weighed 178 tons, and the total length of the sails were 372m2. Berrio's ship was slightly smaller, and the supply ship was even smaller. Vasco along with his four ships left from Port Tagus, in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 8, 1497. On his journey to India the ships stopped numerous times to restock on supplies, including at the Cape of Good Hope, which had been discovered previously by Bartolomeu Dias. Vasco da Gama finally reached Cochin, a city in India on May 20, 1498. In India Vasco tried to trade many cheap primitive items such as mirrors and pearls of glass for the Indians spices. The Indians were unwilling to trade their valuable spices for such low cost items. After a long time of bargaining, Vasco had become frustrated and took hostages until the Indians would finally make a deal. The amount of spices da Gama received were very little, but with the priceless value of spices in Europe Vasco made a 3000% profit. On the way back to Europe Vasco's crew experienced many problems, the first occurring soon after departing from India. While sailing back to Africa to regroup many of the members of the Sao Rafeal became very sick and died. The point of having this ship to drag along with so little of a crew was pointless. For this reason it was burned. The crew expirenced little problems until it passed the Cape of Good Hope. Just after leaving the cape the three ships became separated in a giant storm. From this storm each ship had to navigate itself back to Europe. Each ship reached Port Tagus at separate times, the Sao Gabriel returning on September 9, 1499. After returning to Europe King Manuel I being very pleased with his discovery gave Vasco the title of Dom or Lord, and a yearly allowance of 300,000 reais. These two privileges were to be passed on from Vasco to his children. After taking a rest at home Vasco was sent out to India again in 1502. The reason for this journey was to seek revenge for the massacre of Pedro Cabral's men in India. Vasco took revenge by completely destroying the port at Calcut and stealing spices from the Indians. Vasco and his crew returned the following year, a great success. Twenty-one years later Vasco was sent back to India again by King John III. This trip turns out to be fatal for the navigator, for he died in Cochin on Christmas Eve of 1524. Vasco's corpse had been brought from India to the Covent of Our Lady of the Relics, near Vidigueira, Portugal. His corpse had rested in peace for three centuries until in 1880 were dug up, and in respect were placed along side the past kings of Portugal in the Monastary of Jeronimos.