Magellan left Spain with five ships to try and get to the Spice Islands in the Pacific Ocean by sailing West. The Spice Islands which are called the Moluccas actually comprise about one thousand small islands but the Europeans only considered the five largest to be the Spice Islands. They are named Ternate, Tidore, Motir, Makian and Bacan and the main spice which was loaded onto the ships were cloves which were considered more valuable than gold. Only two ships with sixty crew made it to the Spice Islands and only one ship made it back to Spain with only eighteen members of the original crew of over two hundred thirty. Several other members of the crew which were marooned in several places also eventually made it back to Spain. One of the ships had mutinied in South America and made it back to Spain before they even got to the tip of South America. The one ship that made it back was full of cloves which were so valuable that the entire venture was a commercial success for the original investors.
(Book – Over the Edge of the World:Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the World – Laurence Bergreen)