The Magellan Project

A project dedicated to increasing public awareness and knowledge about the impact of the first documented circumnavigation of the world 500 years ago

The Route

Magellan's Route

The route will be retraced based upon Tim Joyner’s historical text “Magellan.” The same departure dates from ports and points along the way will be followed. Since modern sailing vessel design will result in arrival times well ahead the original times (7-8 knots versus 3-4 knots), the time gained will be used in port to provide community outreach and promote the expedition’s goals locally. When the calendar catches up with the port of call, the expedition will get underway as per the original dates.

The Timeline

2016-17: Purchase, upgrade, and re-commissioning the project vessel, Victoria. Develop shore side logistical team and network. Promote the project in tradition channels and via social media networks.

2017-2020: The 3-year expedition gets underway from Spain in September, 2017. Documentation will be ongoing through the use of onboard cameras and computers connected to the world wide web by satellite uplink.

Students, researchers, journalists, educators, and sponsors or their designee will have opportunities to participate aboard the expedition during various legs between ports of call along the way.

Public discussions with schools and communities in ports of call along the route will be documented and made available for shared discussions and increased public awareness about Magellan’s expedition and its impact.

Classroom feeds on the subjects of geography, history, anthropology, marine ecology, and navigation will be made available. Social and traditional media interfaces will be accessed to build public awareness.


Promotion of the project will be ongoing for the 500 year celebration period of 2019-2022. Quincentennial commemorative events will be planned to bring attention to the project’s completion and its results.

Research projects related to the project will be developed. Age of Exploration course work will be conducted. A long-term goal of the project is to help establish an endowed Magellan Chair in a suitable university’s geography department, supported by project sponsors.

The Crew

Captain Jim

Captain/Project Manager Jim Foster
James K. Foster, aka Jim, is the founder and project manager of The Magellan Project. He’s been preparing for this project since 1993.

Jim has studied and researched the history of the Magellan expedition in-depth since 1992. As a part of this research, he visited Seville, Spain and Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain where the expedition began, and has also done research on Mactan Island in the Philippines where Magellan was killed.

Jim currently owns the “Sea Monkey”, a Crealock 37, sailing out of Seward and Resurrection Bay, Alaska since 1993. In May 2005 Jim crewed on the “heavy weather” leg of the Mahina Expedition trip aboard a Hallberg-Rassy 46 the “Mahina Tiare” from Auckland, New Zealand to Papeete, Tahiti. He joined this crew specifically to gain heavy weather sailing experience in the ‘Roaring 40s’ of the South Pacific Ocean.

Jim also served as one of the crew of three sailing the 52′ Alden ketch “Royono II” from Titusville, Florida offshore in the Gulf Stream to St. Michaels, Maryland in June, 1997. Jim has bareboat chartered in the Caribbean, Florida, California, Thailand, and Australia. He is a USCG licensed 25 ton master. He is also a PADI certified Rescue Diver.

June 2014 to October 2014 Jim served as the ship’s medic for a crew of 19 onboard the REM Supporter, a 94 meter platform supply vessel sailing out of Stavanger, Norway to Murmansk, Russia and on to the Kara Sea for an Exxon/Rosneft arctic offshore drilling project.

August 4th, 2016 to September 7th, 2016 Jim served as the ship’s medic for a crew of 18 onboard the 348′ Dino Chouest, an anchor handling/tug/supply vessel transiting from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to Fourchon, Louisiana via the Panama Canal.

He has made his living as a firefighter paramedic, EMS Battalion Chief and Operations Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief at the Anchorage Fire Department from 1989 until September 2010.

At the same time, he was adjunct faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage, teaching an Emergency Medical Technology course each fall and spring semester for 19 years. From October 2010-2012 Jim served as an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Fire and Emergency Services Program.

From 2013 to 2016, Jim has worked as a remote medic/health & safety coordinator for oil industry related projects, in addition to serving as Clinical Education Coordinator for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium from September 2015 to July 2016.

Jim has served as President of Eller and Company, Inc. and Continental Stevedoring and Terminal Operations, LLC since 2011, with maritime operations in the Port of Miami and Port Everglades.

Jim has journeyed in Central and South America, Europe, Russia, North Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, the Philippines and the South Pacific. He has owned a small bungalow rental business called “The Treasure of San Blas” in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico since 1989.

Jim’s education includes Daytona Beach State College work in photography before transferring to Florida State University. In 1983 he graduated from FSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and a minor in Anthropology.

Legal Stuff

The Magellan Project is a nonprofit corporation established under the provisions of Alaska Statutes. The Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Incorporation for The Magellan Foundation were certified on June 24th, 2009 by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The Magellan Project applied for 501(c)3 status with the Federal IRS in June of 2016 and was approved on July 21st, 2016. EIN # 81-2595931

Ultimately, we will help establish a corporate-sponsored, multi-million dollar, endowed Magellan Chair in a suitable university’s geography department. This will provide an ongoing program for developing undergraduate research opportunities related to the Magellan Project and Magellan’s relevance to world history, geography, economics and other related disciplines.

This project is dependent on public donations and corporate sponsorship.