In the 15th Century it was accepted by navigators and ship captains that it was impossible to sail any further South than Cape Bojador off the coast of Africa. The winds and tidal currents off the cape were dangerous and resulted in numerous expeditions being sent from Portuguese ports to attempt the passage only to have them never return. It was also accepted that this represented the end of the world. Even if a ship got past the Cape the equatorial Sun would burn it up. Monsters lived in the area below the Cape and there was nothing living beyond this area anyway. The Cape was the point of no return for all sailors of the day.
Gil Eannes was a Portuguese explorer who became legendary in l433 for his bravery in sailing where no European had gone before. Prince Henry of Portugal had sent fourteen other expeditions to pass beyond Cape Bojador, but none been able to do so. He commissioned Eannes to make the attempt and in l433 he sailed from Lagos to the Island of Maderia and then to Grand Canary Island. From there he proceeded ahead rounding Cape Bojador by taking a wide turn and different approach. To prove he had accomplished his mission he brought back some plants.
Prince Henry wasn’t satisfied and two years later sent him back. He rounded the cape and went ashore to explore. He saw a caravan of men and camels. He sailed further South and collected thousands ofseal skins. This was the first commercial cargo brought to Europe from that part of Africa. His act of bravery opened up exploration of an area that had been considered closed to navigation.
So, what is your personal "Cape Bojador" – the point of no return beyond live monsters? Overcoming fear is the only way to accomplish goals. Remember Gil Eannes the next time you consider the obstacle in your path.