The first journey of Christopher Columbus

The first journey of Christopher Columbus

3 August 2019, 13:29
A source: ©
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After an extremely short preparation for sailing at 8 am on August 3, 1492, an expedition of 90 people set sail from the port of Palos de la Frontera in Andalusia. After 6 days, she reached the Canary Islands, where she stopped to repair the helm of Santa Maria, and on September 6, leaving the port of San Sebastian on the island of Homer, set sail for the West.

On September 13, Columbus noticed that the compass needle no longer points to the North Star. He tried to hide the phenomenon of magnetic declination, little-known at that time, from the crew inclined to rebellion, but a few days later the captains of all the ships noticed him and Columbus had to make a lot of efforts to persuade the owners of the ships not to return to Spain.

In the end, on the 21st day of swimming, October 7, “large flocks of birds” were seen in the sky and Columbus changed the ship's course to follow the direction of their flight. The decision turned out to be correct, and on the night of October 12, the Pint watchman Rodrigo de Triana saw the land, probably the modern Bahamian island of Volting, which Columbus called San Salvador.

The indigenous people called him Guanahani, were peace-loving and friendly to the Europeans, who, after a short stop, continued sailing and a few days later opened the islands of Santa Maria, Fernandina (now Long Island) and Isabella (now Fortune).
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Having reached the Arena island (now Reged Island), Columbus changed course to the south and on October 28 swam to modern Cuba, named by him Juan. Based on the fact that it is located in the north of the mainland, the sailor set off along the coast and on December 5 discovered the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti).

Continuing sailing to the southeast, at Christmas the flagship of the Santa Maria expedition boarded the reefs (near the modern city of Cap-Haitien). The owner and captain of the ship Juan de la Cosa with most of the crew left him to their own devices and Columbus had to save provisions and guns with the help of the natives, who watched the Europeans with interest from the coast.

The leader of Guacanagari allowed the Spaniards to build a small fort on the coast, known as La Navidad, from the remains of the karaka, in which there remained a garrison of 39 people, and on January 13, 1493, the Columbus expedition left for Rincon Bay.

The Nina, where Columbus moved, fell into a storm, as a result of which she lost contact with the Pinta, and with great difficulty reached the Azores on February 13. After 10 days, she left the island of Santa Maria, but another storm threw her far north of the planned route. On March 4, Nina was forced to anchor in Lisbon.

Taking the opportunity, Columbus wrote a letter to King Joao II, who, learning about the expedition and the lands he discovered, regarded it as a violation of the Alcazas Treaty of 1479 between Castile and Portugal. However, Columbus was provided with everything necessary and on March 15, 1493 arrived at the Castilian port of Palos de la Frontera, from which his 7-month voyage began.
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