The four caravellas left Cadiz and headed for America: according to Christopher Columbus, they had to reach India from the east, then pass around Africa and return to Spain. Thus, already in his fifties Columbus had opted for circumnavigation of the globe! But before that he had to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean.
Columbus’s ships crossed the Atlantic, passing along the southern shores of Jamaica and Cuba. Then they took a south-west course and approached the mainland.
The seas were rather deep: even near the shore, the plumb sometimes failed to reach the bottom. Columbus named these places Honduras, which translated from Spanish means “depths.” But the admiral was concerned not with Honduras, but with a strait that proved so difficult to find. In search of a passage to the “other sea,” Columbus discovered about two thousand kilometers of Central American shoreline. The weather was inclement, with months-long storms. The people were exhausted, sick, the vessels were afflicted by worms to the extent they almost crumbled. Columbus made the decision to turn back. In November 1504 the expedition returned to Spain. And the passage will be discovered by Magellan’s expedition – sixteen years later.