Columbus Day


His achievements are controversial today, but you at least have to admire the brass tacks on a guy like Christopher Columbus. For this post, I will focus only on his initial trans-Atlantic voyage. First, he had to petition a financial source that was not even in his own country to fund his idea. What idea, you ask? He only had to convince the King’s court and a few dozen experienced sailors, (meaning real-life tough guys), that he could find the Far East by sailing West in three wooden ships of questionable seaworthiness. All this while concealing the fact that he didn’t really know for sure where he was going to make landfall, he only had a rough idea; and a dream of getting rich when he got there. That he persevered, braving an ocean that could arbitrarily drown him, and keeping an unruly, mutinous-minded crew on task is a testament to his audacity as well as his seamanship and leadership skills. Columbus wasn’t the first to discover the new world continent, and his first visit set off a chain reaction that had ominous repercussions for the native inhabitants. Nevertheless, his inaugural trip lands him squarely in my old-school, Bada$$ Club.

This is a bit of a dramatic illustration of a sunset during the first trip, when the three ships, two of which were faster than the larger flagship, closed together for the night. Acrylic on canvas paper; this painting is about ten years old.

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