Monday, October 08, 2007
Viva El Dia Del Cristobal Colombo (Columbus Day)
Sure, the Vikings had 'land hopped' from Greenland down through Nova Scocia and had temporary settlements as south as New York, but they had no idea where they were, and they certainly didn't sail across the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to get there. Most important, they never advertised the fertile lands they found.
Columbus changed the world.
"Thursday, 11 October. Steered west-southwest; and encountered a heavier sea than they had met with before in the whole voyage. Saw pardelas and a green rush near the vessel. The crew of the Pinta saw a cane and a log; they also picked up a stick which appeared to have been carved with an iron tool, a piece of cane, a plant which grows on land, and a board. The crew of the Nina saw other signs of land, and a stalk loaded with rose berries. These signs encouraged them, and they all grew cheerful. Sailed this day till sunset, twenty-seven leagues.
After sunset steered their original course west and sailed twelve miles an hour till two hours after midnight, going ninety miles, which are twenty-two leagues and a half; and as the Pinta was the swiftest sailer, and kept ahead of the Admiral, she discovered land and made the signals which had been ordered. The land was first seen by a sailor called Rodrigo de Triana...."
One of my favorite works of fiction is called "Past Watch, The Redemption of Christopher Columbus," and it revolves around Columbus' actual diary entries and how pivitol he was in changing the course of history. Yes, the book is a work of fiction, but it does provide some great insight into the real and very personal trials and tribulations of Explorer Colombo. I can't recommend it enough.
posted by El Capitan at 9:38 AM
Happy Columbus Day to you too...3:19 PM
It's a shame that Christopher Columbus isn't treated as the interesting historical adventurer he was when I was younger.
Law school gives doesn't allow Columbus Day off--of course, we still get the day off for Christmas and Martin Luther King Day. An odd combo to be sure.