Where did Columbus learn Navigation?

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,368
Portugal
#12
Not to answer the question , but to pose one . Many years ago I read an article that stated that Columbus spent several years with his youngest son at a mission where the son was studying for priesthood . At this mission were stored the journals of Brendan , the Irish monk who was reported to have sailed across the Atlantic and up to the the north-east corner of No. America and back to Ireland , in a leather boat . The author believed that was were Columbus learned of the trade winds , when Columbus departed Spain he sailed South for several days to the Canaries before turning west just as Brendan had done 400 or so years before . I have since lost this material , has any person on here heard of this ?
Trying not to answer directly to the OP, even if my answer wouldn’t be complete, but mainly answering to you.

The “Navigatio Sancti Brendani” was widely known in the late Middle Ages, widely copied in monasteries and widely known if not read by those who navigated in the Atlantic ocean. So we can assume that quite naturally Columbus knew the story (if my memory doesn’t betray me, and sometimes it does, he even mentions it in one of the side notes he wrote in a book).

I think that it was in 1973 that Paul H. Chapman launched that “thesis” that Columbus learned to said from Saint Bredan’s book. But as any hagiography the details, and specifically the sailing details, are not abundant: https://www.amazon.com/man-who-led-Columbus-America/dp/0914032011

Portuguese, Galician, Basque and Breton fishermen were fishing cod fish at least since the end of the 14th century in the North Atlantic.

The Azores Islands, in the Middle of the Atlantic, often identified in Portolan charts has “The Islands of Saint Brendan”, were (re)discovered and colonized by the Portuguese since the beginning of the 15th century.

The Madeira Islands were also (re)discovered and colonized since the beginning of the 15th century by the Portuguese, and expeditions to the Canary Islands were made since at least the 14th century, by Portuguese, Genoese, Majorcans…

Columbus had strong relations with Genoa, worked for Genoese, and it is probable that he was born there. Columbus lived in Portugal between 1476/7 and 1485, sailed in Portuguese ships trough the Atlantic (to Mina, to Madeira, and in Portuguese or Genoese ships to the British Islands and eventually to Iceland) and married with a Portuguese noblewoman, daughter of the first Capitan of the Island of Porto Santo (Madeira Islands).

So, why a seasoned sailor, that sailed with the Portuguese (and with others) extensively in the Atlantic, would learn winds from a hagiography? Saint Bredan myth was just one more story to confirm that there were lands to the West.
 
Oct 2013
14,071
Europix
#13
Where did Columbus learn navigation and Atlantic sail.
Help me please Thanks
I see You are new member (welcome, BTW!), so for once, I will ignore moderators' warnings and I'll reply the OP.

1. The title of the OP is fine: "Where did Columbus learn navigation ?"

2. The OP, ... not that much.

It should have been something like:

" I would like to know a bit more on the topic, and I was thinking that You could help me in suggesting some good sources on that.

Thank You in advance
"
 

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,565
Eastern PA
#14
I see You are new member (welcome, BTW!), so for once, I will ignore moderators' warnings and I'll reply the OP.

1. The title of the OP is fine: "Where did Columbus learn navigation ?"

2. The OP, ... not that much.

It should have been something like:

" I would like to know a bit more on the topic, and I was thinking that You could help me in suggesting some good sources on that.

Thank You in advance "

I presume that you did not notice that the OP posed this gem of question in post #6 of this thread as a demonstration of his work and study ethic!

What three ships did Columbus take with him?
 
Oct 2013
14,071
Europix
#15

I presume that you did not notice that the OP posed this gem of question in post #6 of this thread as a demonstration of his work and study ethic!
Oups, didn't read that far in the thread! :eek:

But I know the Answer!

Columbus took the first, the second and the third ship with him, as he decided to leave at home the fourth one and the rest.
 
May 2017
48
florida
#16
Nothing to do with the original question , but , in the 70s my bride and I decided to go sailing for a year or so . We studied celestial navigation and bought a brass sextant , sight reduction tables , naval almanac and many other necessary gadgets . Back then there were no cheap electronics that would work for where we wanted to go ,[ Carib .]
When we actually got out in the world and went sailing we used none of this stuff . We sailed the same as Columbus by "guess and be damned " , mostly called deduced reckoning or " dead reckoning ". The advantage that we had over Columbus was that we knew that there was not that many dragons and we kinda knew that there was Islands out there . We sailed back and forth , Florida to the Venezuela and most islands in between for fifteen years with no navigation instruments in use except a compass and lead line .
 
Likes: Tulius

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