There are a lot of misconceptions about Christopher Columbus (1451 – May 20, 1506) and his voyage to the New World.
Colombus and his crew were experienced sailors and they did not believe the world was flat or the ship would fall of the edge. Their real fear was they would starve or die of thirst, because there were no place to replenish supplies. This ended in 1479, when Portugal recognized Castellón control of the Canary Islands.
Christopher Columbus was an excellent sailor. In one of his writings, Columbus claims to have gone to the sea at the age of ten. In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry a valuable cargo to northern Europe. He docked in Bristol, Galway, in Ireland and very likely, in 1477 he was in Iceland. It is thought that in Iceland he was told of land to the west by the descendants of the Vikings.
He also learned the secrets of the trade winds. A southern route would blow west and a northern route would blow east. He calculated the circumference of the Earth as 25,255 kilometers when in reality it was 40,000 kilometers.
On the evening of August 3, 1492, Columbus departed from Palos, Spain with three ships; one larger carrack, Santa María, nicknamed Gallega (the Gallician), and two smaller caravels, Pinta (the Painted) and Santa Clara, nicknamed Niña (the Girl). Columbus first sailed to the Canary Islands where he restocked the provisions and made repairs, and on September 6, he started what turned out to be a five-week voyage across the ocean.
They had plenty of water and supplies. But they had been at sea for over a month and the crew threatened mutiny and wanted to turn back. Just in time land was sighted at 2 a.m. on October 12, 1492, in what is now the Bahamas, the island of San Salvador. And I am sure everyone was quite relieved.
And as they say the rest is history.
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