The caravel, developed by the Portuguese, was a ship that combined the square sails of European ships with Arab triangular sails. As well, this ship adapted the sternpost rudder and various masts of Chinese ships. These adjustments made it easier to sail.
In 1492 Vasco Da Gama earned his reputation as a sailor when he was sent to algrave region by the order king John II to go steal French ships as an act of vengeance. This order was given because the French were interrupting Portuguese shipping.
In Vasco de Gama led a journey to the spice port of Calicut. The voyage home cost the lives of many sailors but proved highly profitable to the survivors. The Portuguese seized key ports around the Indian Ocean.