Esteban Gómez also known as Estevan Gómez, born Estêvão Gomes (c. 1483 Porto, † 1538 Paraguay River), was a Portuguese cartographer and explorer who sailed at the service of Spain in the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan, having deserted the expedition before reaching the Strait of Magellan, returning to Spain in May 1521. In 1524 he explored Nova Scotia province sailing South through Maine, where he entered New York Harbor, the Hudson River and eventually reached Florida in August 1525. As a result of his expedition, the 1529 Diogo Ribeiro world map outlines the East coast of North America almost perfectly.
Estevão Gomes was born in Porto, northern Portugal, and probably sailed in Portuguese ships during his youth. In 1518, he moved to Spain, where he was appointed a pilot in the Casa de Contratación in Seville.
In 1519, Gomes sailed with Magellan in the First Circumnavigation of Earth, as the captain of the San Antonio. Before reaching the Strait of Magellan, though, he deserted the expedition, returning to Spain in May 1521. He was immediately jailed, but when the remaining ship reached Spain, and the surviving crew related their terrible experience, he was freed.
Gomes was able to convince the Emperor Charles to allow and finance a new expedition to find a passage to the Spice Islands, this time to the North. A 50-ton caravel, La Anunciada, was built for the purpose.
The expedition sailed in September 1524 from Corunna, with 29 men forming the crew. He reached Cabot Strait and Cape Breton (in today's Nova Scotia province of Canada) in February 1525, and spent the winter there. As soon as he was able to renewed his search for the passage, and probably thinking that an even Northern passage would not present much better conditions than what he remembered from the Strait of Magellan, he decided to sail South. He passed through Maine, where he thought the estuary of the Penobscot River to be the passage. He entered New York Harbor and the Hudson River (which he named the "San Antonio River"), and eventually reached Florida in August 1525, when he decided to go back to Spain.
As a result of his expedition, the 1529 Diogo Ribeiro world map outlines the East coast of North America almost perfectly. For a long time, the Northern half of the current US coast was named on maps as Tierra de Esteban Gómez.
Nineteenth Century hand-drawn detail of the American coast from a world map by Diogo Ribeiro (1529), where the Northern Half of the East coast of the current US is named as Tierra de Esteban Gómez
In 1535, Gomes joined Pedro de Mendoza's expedition to Río de la Plata. During the expedition, he was killed in the Paraguay River by Indians (1538).