Christopher Columbus Began Last Voyage - May 12
- 2013 5 May
MAY 12, 1502, Christopher Columbus began his last voyage. Afflicted by Caribbean hurricanes, Columbus recorded seven months later: "The tempest arose and wearied me so that I knew not where to turn, my old wound opened up, and for 9 days I was lost without hope of life; eyes never beheld the sea so angry and covered with foam. The wind not only prevented our progress, but offered no opportunity to run behind any headland for shelter; hence we were forced to keep out in this bloody ocean, seething like a pot on a hot fire. The people were so worn out that they longed for death." Columbus' son, Ferdinand recorded on December 13, 1502, how a waterspout passed between the ships; "the which had they not dissolved by reciting the Gospel according to St. John, it would have swamped whatever it struck...for it draws water up to the clouds in a column thicker than a waterbutt, twisting it about like a whirlwind." Columbus' biographer, Samuel Eliot Morrison described: "It was the Admiral who exorcised the waterspout. From his Bible he read of that famous tempest off Capernaum, concluding, 'Fear not, it is I!' Then clasping the Bible in his left hand, with drawn sword he traced a cross in the sky and a circle around his whole fleet."