Christopher Columbus: The Explorer

Monday, October 12th marks the day in which many countries in the New World celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival.

Columbus day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12th, 1492.

Explorer and navigator Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Italy. His first voyage into the Atlantic Ocean in 1476 nearly cost him his life. Columbus participated in several other expeditions to Africa. In 1942 Columbus left Spain on the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and the Nina alongside. He has been credited for opening up the Americas to European colonization according to www.biography.com.

Here are a few fun facts about Christopher Columbus that you may not know:

Not much is written of Columbus' early work history. One thing known is that in 1467 he wrote a letter requesting work. To whom did he write to, asking for work?

King Ferdinad & Ferdinand. While working abroad on ships as a helper of the older men, Christopher heard tales from the men that they were leery of traveling too far, because most believed that the world was flat. Christopher was an educated and very curious boy and desperately wanted to see that if he traveled the far ends of the Earth he would fall off.

In order for Columbus to travel the seas, he needed to know which two things were, and still are, most important to sea traveling?

The answer? The study of the stars and waterways. Navigators in Columbus' time needed to know which water passages to travel and they needed to know how to find their way by the stars.

Columbus had several destination stops mapped out for his first voyage. What was his first stop?

The Canary Islands. Columbus arrived at the Canary Islands within two to three days after he first set sail. He only intended to stop for food supplies, but remained there for four weeks. Part of the delay came from lack of winds that was needed to help sail the ships to the Far East.

Columbus did not have an easy time with this voyage. He had a serious problem on December 24, 1492. On that date one of his vessels ran aground. What is the name of the ship that caused Columbus a severe problem?

Santa Maria. According to historians, his voyage was bound for disaster because of a lack of equipment and a poor crew. Most of Columbus' crew consisted of convicts that were bound for death or had severe medical problems. The Court of Spain allowed these men to board the ship and to be active members of his crew. When Columbus set sail in 1492, his first stop were The Canary Islands, The Bahama Landfall (Hispaniola), Cuba, The Azores, and then back to port at Palos. He and his crew landed on Hispaniola on October 12, 1492. While there, and unbeknownst to Columbus, Martin Alonso Pinzon, the Captain of The Pinta, left the Pinta and the Nina to sail on a buoy to various islands in search of gold that the islands were said to contain by his native guides. The Santa Maria ran aground on a reef bed on December 24, 1492, and sank the very next day.

Columbus, and his two remaining ships, left Hispaniola from the port of Samana Bay on January 16, 1493. The two ships were headed for the final destinaion prior to porting the ships. However, they were separaed by a fierce storm in the middle of the Norhern Atlantic Ocean. On which date were the two ships separated?

February 14, 1493. On this day, The Nina and The Piina were separated by a fierce storm that ripped through the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Columbus, having searched for The Pinta and its captain, continued for the Port of Palos. Before heading to Palos, he spotted the Island of Santa Maria, and settled there for two days. He then charted his course for Lisbon and arrived there on March 4, 1493. On March 5, 1493, they headed back to the Port of Palos and arrived on March 15, 1493. Columbus was proclaimed a hero. The Pinta arrived just hours after The Nina at port. The Nina's captain, Pizon was shocked to discover that Columbus and his crew had survived the voyage. www.funtrivia.com

Returning to Spain in 1493, columbus gave a glowing, somewhat exaggerated report and was warmly recieved by the royal court. That same year he took to the seas on his second expedition and explored more islands in the Carribean Ocean.

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu.

Enjoy your Columbus Day weekend!




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