Columbus day, let’s celebrate Leif Eriksson day!

In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day; He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know, How to find the way to go.

Ninety sailors were on board; Some men worked while others snored.

Then the workers went to sleep; And others watched the ocean deep.

Day after day they looked for land; They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.

October 12 their dream came true, You never saw a happier crew!

“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried; His heart was filled with joyful pride.

But “India” the land was not; It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.

The Arakawa natives were very nice; They gave the sailors food and spice.

Columbus sailed on to find some gold, To bring back home, as he’d been told.

He made the trip again and again, Trading gold to bring to Spain.

The first American? No, not quite. But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.

The first American? No, not quite. Besides the aborigines that came over from Siberia, crossing the Bering’s Strait the Vikings were there before. It was the Medieval warming period, and Iceland had been colonized, mostly by the Irish and Scottish, but around 900 A.D. the Vikings took over, set up farming on Iceland and even Greenland. They navigated as far north as Ruin Island, near the 80th latitude, went down on the North American side and setting up a settlement on what is now Newfoundland.

The settlement has been excavated but before excavation it looked like this:

It has been partially reconstructed:

There are many other signs of Viking activity in North America, mostly from Rune-stones. Some are authentic, but there are also frauds, so caution is of essence to validate them. But one thing is of particular interest, a map:

The map shows the world from the Viking perspective. It clearly outlines Vineland. Commerce was good, and the Vikings even exported Perigrene Falcons to the Arab Sheiks for their famous falconry.

The climate changed again, and around 1250 the Greenland settlement was abandoned, a glacier started cover what once was “gaarden under sanden”After the little ice age the inland ice is again retreating and excavations verify the farm really existed and produced cheese from cows.

Columbus probably knew about this map, and concluded it would be a better way to get to India. After being rebuked in his home-town Genoa he went to Spain to get financing for his endeavor, and the rest is history.

He was successful beyond all expectations, and yet, he didn’t know where he was going when he started, didn’t know where he was when he got there, didn’t know where he had been when he returned. And he got someone else to pay for the
whole thing!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by

lenbilen

Engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, and chip manufacturing. Presently adjunct faculty at PSU, teaching one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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