Most of the water ways and land routes were closed to Europeans by the Ottoman Empire.
Columbus believed the world was round, but he underestimated the size of the world. He thought that the only thing between him and the riches of the East Indies was the Atlantic ocean.
He set sail on August 3, 1492, from Palos Spain, with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
Columbus arrived in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492.
Although he didn't arrive in the East like he had planned, he did reach the Americas, and for that we are forever grateful.
Columbus was, of course, a sailor, and tomorrow is the navy's birthday.
*Pictured above are replicas of Columbus' ships.*