6/24/2019 This week in Caribbean Cruise History: Columbus’ 4th voyage and the Hurricane of June 29, 1502. Columbus took 4 voyages to the New World. His 4th voyage was the longest and most fascinating of the 4. It began when he left Cádiz, Spain on 11 May 1502, with his flagship Santa María and the vessels Gallega, Vizcaína, and Santiago de Palos. On June 15, 1502, the crew landed at Carbet on the island of Martinique. A hurricane was brewing, so Columbus continued on hoping to take shelter at the previously settled Santo Domingo, Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic). He arrived at Santo Domingo on June 29 but was denied port by the new governor Francisco de Bobadilla. Francisco de Bobadilla had recently replaced Columbus as the Governor and despised Columbus. The new governor also refused to listen to Columbus’ storm prediction. Instead, while Columbus's ships sheltered at the mouth of the nearby Rio Jaina, Spain’s first fleet of treasure ships sailed off to meet an approaching hurricane. Columbus's ships survived with only minor damage, while 20 of the 31 ships in the governor's fleet were lost to the hurricane. In addition to the ships, 500 lives (including that of the governor) and an immense cargo of gold were surrendered to the sea including the legendary flagship, El Dorado, all within the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico while trying to return to Spain. Ironically, among the ships that survived was the Aguja, the weakest ship of the convoy and which carried the gold Columbus was owed—spurring accusations that Columbus magically invoked the storm out of vengeance.