I got an early Christmas present. A book about Christopher Columbus by Laurence Bergreen. It turns out Columbus was an accomplished sailor who had sailed all over the Mediterranean. He was a sailor in a Genoan convoy that was attacked. He was wounded and the ship he was on was sunk off Portugal. He climbed onto a piece of flotsam and paddled 10 km to land. From there he sailed to France, England, Germany, Ireland, and well North of Iceland. He also engaged in the slave trade to Guinea. I have only gotten as far as the early parts of his first voyage but it is clear that he was a master mariner. He complained that his hourglass was not giving good times, and at one point his quadrant said he was at 42 degrees when he was actually around 21 degrees latitude. But he was able to read the sea and sky, the wind and clouds, and got where he wanted to go. His slaver background also shows as he was trying to make up his mind if the natives would be better used as slaves or converted to Christianity. You see, the Pope had already issued a Papal Bull saying Christians could not be slaves, but everyone else could be. Lots more reading to do.