Gil Eannes (15th century) was a Portuguese explorer (sailing for Prince Henry) who was the first person to sail beyond the dreaded Cape Bojador and return. Cape Bojador is on the coast of Africa just below latitude 27° North (off the western Sahara Desert). This feat was amazing because Cape Bojador had frequent, violent storms and strong currents. Mariners told legends of a “Green Sea of Darkness” beyond this cape, from which there was no return. Eannes’ journey in 1434 opened the African coast to navigators, and, soon, many Europeans were exploring the coast of Africa and beyond.
Sylvia Alice Earle (August 30, 1935- ) is an undersea explorer, marine biologist (specializing in botany), and author. Earle has done pioneering work in studying ocean life, and she has helped develop the equipment necessary for underwater exploration. During 50 underwater expeditions and over 6,000 hours underwater, Earle has discovered many new marine species and set many diving records. In 1970, Earle led a team of five aquanauts (underwater explorers) who lived for 2 weeks (during which they experienced an underwater earthquake) in an underwater laboratory in a U.S. government project named “Tektite II.” She has discovered many underwater phemonena, including undersea dunes in the Atlantic Ocean off the Bahama Islands.
Isabelle Eberhardt (Feb. 17, 1877 - October 21, 1904) was an explorer who lived and traveled extensively in North Africa.
Eric the Red (950?-1003 or 1004?) was a Viking explorer who was the first European to sail to Greenland. He sailed from Iceland in 982 and led a group of colonists to Greenland in 985-986.
Leif Ericsson (also spelled Eriksson) the Lucky (980?-1020?) was a Viking (Norse) explorer who was possibly the first European to sail to North America. Leif sailed north from the southern tip of Greenland, then went south along the coast of Baffin Island down to Labrador, and then landed in what is now called Newfoundland (which he called Vinland). Ericsson sailed around the year 1000.
Ericsson was born in Iceland and was one of the sons of the explorer Eric the Red.
Ericsson was probably preceded to Vinland by the Icelandic explorer Bjarni Herjulfsson, who spotted the coast of North America in 985 or 986 when blown off course from Iceland to Greenland (but he did not go ashore). Hearing of Herjulfsson’s discovery, Ericsson sailed for North America in the year 1000 with a crew of 35. He landed in what is probably southern Baffin Island (which he called Helluland, meaning the “land of the flat stone”). He then went on the what is now Labrador (which he called Markland, meaning “forest land”). In 1001 they reached Vinland (perhaps the southern tip of Newfoundland), where remains of an ancient Norse settlement have been found). Ericsson and his crew returned to Green land in the spring of 1002.
Ericsson later inherited his father’s position as leader of the Norse colony in Greenland.
Estevanico (pronounced es-tay-vahn-EE-co), also called Estevan, Esteban, Estebanico, Black Stephen, and Stephen the Moor (1500?-1539) was a Muslim slave from northern Africa (Azamor, Morocco) who was one of the early explorers of the southwestern United States.
Edward John Eyre (1815-1901) was an English-born Australian explorer. With his aboriginal friend called Wylie, Eyre was the first European to walk across southern Australia from east to west (along the coast). This arduous trip took 4 1/2 months. They traveled from Adelaide to Albany, across the Nullarbor Plain. The expedition had begun with many men and pack horses, but harsh conditions and lack of food and water forced most of the men and the horses to turn back. Eyre and Wiley survived by using sponges to collect the morning dew, and eating kangaroos. Previously, Eyre had been on many shorter expeditions searching for good sheep-grazing land in southern Australia. An expedition to the center of Australia (from Adelaide) failed at Mt. Hopeless.