Columbus Sets Sail for his First Voyage Today in 1492! Today in 1492, Christopher Columbus sets sail from Palos, Spain (near Seville) for his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean presumably headed to the Spice Islands, Japan/China, and India - instead he 'bump into' the Americas, and eventually made 4 trips to the Caribbean area. On his initial voyage, he had just 3 small ships, the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria (the largest about 60 ft in deck length). The legacy of Columbus remains contentious and controversial - the European 'invasion' of the Americans wiped out 80% - 90% of the native populations and destroyed some amazing civilizations - disease by far was the most common cause of this fatal interaction; below, just a few 'facts' of interest, a tee shirt that I own, and a book recommendation, i.e. American Holocaust (1992) by David E. Stannard - today NPR had a number of short programs on the topic w/ interviews of several Native Americans. Dave .