What is the circumnavigation timeline?

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  • 15 November 1577 (Old Style) [25 November 1577 (New Style)]
    Drake leaves Plymouth, England with the Pelican, Elizabeth, Marigold, Swan and Benedict.
  • 13 December 1577 (OS),
    After being forced back by weather and damaged ships, Drake leaves Plymouth with his repaired fleet. He sails to Africa, then Brazil and Argentina. The Swan and Benedict are abandoned before entering the Straits of Magellan.
  • 2 July 1578 (OS),
    Drake has Thomas Doughty executed after a trial while ashore in South America.
  • 20 August 1578 (OS)
    Drake enters the Strait of Magellan after re-naming the Pelican to the Golden Hind.
  • 7 September 1578 (OS),
    The expedition’s three remaining ships pass through the Straits of Magellan. Sight is lost of the Elizabeth when the ships are hammered by storms in the Pacific. She abandons the journey and returns to England.
  • 8 September 1578 (OS),
    After entering the Pacific, the ships are blown southeast toward the Atlantic Ocean. The Marigold sinks with all 29 hands. Drake discovers open water to south of Straits of Magellan which is now known as Drake Passage.
  • November 1578 – April 1579 (OS)
    Drake raids King Philip’s Pacific colonies and ships in South and Central America and gathers copious amounts of treasure.
  • 1 March 1579 (OS)
    Drake captures theNuestra Señora de la Concepción (Cacafuego) off Ecuador Ecuador and purloins her cargo which includes 26 tons of silver.
  • April – June 1579 (OS)
    Drake heads his ship northwest into the Pacific and seeks Strait of Anian (semi mythical Northwest Passage).
  • 5-10 June 1579 (OS)
    Drake rides out dangerous conditions in a precarious anchorage off Cape Arago, Oregon.
  • 17 June – 24 July 1579 (OS)
    While camped at Drake's Cove, California, Drake's crew prepares their ship for circumnavigation.
  • 24-25 July 1579 (OS)
    Drake anchors at the Farallon Islands and tops off his food supply with seal meat.
  • July – September 1579
    Drake navigates the Golden Hind across the Pacific Ocean.
  • 9-10 January 1580 (OS)
    Drake runs his ship onto an uncharted reef: Vesuvius Reef, Sualawesi. The crew lightens her load and free themselves.
  • 15 June 1580 (OS)
    The Golden Hind passes around the Cape of Good Hope.
  • 22-26 July 1580 (OS)
    After completing 9,700 miles of non-stop sailing, Drake's crew effects ship repairs and resupplies at White Man’s Bay, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  • 26 or 28 September 1580 (OS)
    Drake arrives at Plymouth, England. He is welcomed by the Queen and celebrated as hero by the English general public.
  • 4 April 1581 (OS)
    With the sly inclusion of a French dinitary, Queen Elizabeth knights Drake aboard the Golden Hind.