He wrote that he witnessed great mareas (tides), leading twice daily to a difference of about 25 brazas in the levels between low and high tide. Ruddock, while acknowledging a warm winter in 1477 and contemporary excursions to Greenland, nevertheless concludes that Columbus never went there because of this crucial question of the implausibly extreme tides. According to her, 25 brazas means nearly fifty feet, an unacceptably high tidal rise indeed; therefore it must have been impossible for anybody to have actually witnessed the event.
Ruddock didn't, however, take into consideration the essay of Graefe, who reasoned, that Columbus' braccia probably meant a covid (0.4886 m), an Arabic yardstick still used in Spain at that time: This would reduce the tidal movement to an acceptable 12 meters (39.37 feet). Furthermore, new arguments have arisen in favor of Columbus' observation concerning the tides.
Was Christopher Columbus in Greenland 15 years before he discovered America?
Abstract Christopher Columbus wrote that he sailed in February 1477 to an island a hundred miles beyond Tile (Iceland).
This short essay shows, that there are substantive historical and climatic arguments supporting Christopher Columbus' claims.
Commenting on the five earthly zones and their habitability as described by Isidore of Seville in his treatises Etymologiae and De Natura Rerum, Columbus wrote in one of the rare records of his early seafaring time: In the month of February, 1477, I sailed a hundred leghe (miles) beyond Tile (Iceland), to an island, of which the south part is at a distance of 73 degrees from the equator, and not 63, as some say; and it does not lie within Ptolemy's western boundary, but much farther west.It is now known that in the 15th century the climate was much warmer than in following centuries. According to a contemporary chronicle, the winter of 1477 was extraordinarily mild: even the northern part of Iceland was without any snow until March and the South coast without any ice (sniolans jör). Therefore, Columbus' statement, that the sea wasn’t frozen during the time he was there must be reasonable. Frucuoso writes, that João Vaz Cortereal and Alvaro Martins Homem were sent out by the Portuguese king to discover lands. (in 1448 Icelandic Annals report nine churches and congregations), although many Greenlanders had already emigrated to Canada because of better living conditions there. A., 1962 The Cabot voyages and the Bristol Discovery under Henry VII (Hakluyt Society, 2nd ser. identified this Streicte as Jones Sound or Lancaster Sound because of a globe, made by Gemma Frisius and Gerhard Mercator (1537), showing a Fretum trium fratrum.A second argument against the trip has been Columbus' observation of strong tidal movements. Greenland continued in the 15th century the trading with "Vineland", which had, according to bills, delivered products like Elk, black bear, ermine, glutton lynx, otter, sable and wolf (animals which were hunted in Newfoundland or Canada). (ed.), 1984 Dokumente zur Geschichte der europäischen Expansion, vol. However, it is available in two reliable contemporary transcriptions, one by Hernando Colón, son of Christopher Columbus, and the other by Bartolomé de las Casas, fighter for the rights of the native Indians.Sailing a distance of a hundred miles beyond Iceland one is lead either to the island of Jan Mayen or to Greenland.Recent studies about the Earth's climate and the warming due to the greenhouse effect show that the changes in climate, especially at the beginning of the "little ice age" from 1450 on, have caused extreme tidal movements, which might have led to the abandoning of the Viking dominions in Greenland at that time. If the tides had got stronger in that region, why shouldn't Columbus have drawn attention to that fact? Apart from the climatic arguments, there is another statement by Columbus which should be discussed, namely, that the English, especially those from Bristol, went to the mentioned island with their wares. In Considering Greenland as a possible destination, there is only one inaccuracy in the text, that the island's south part had a distance of 73 degrees from the Equator.Did Columbus confuse the East-, with the South coast of Greenland, or are there other reasons, which may account for this mistaken detail?Looking at some of the statements of the Columbus research literature in the 20th century, one gets the impression, that the influence of positivist thinking in historical research, combined with nationalistic goals, led to a hypercritical view towards Columbus' own writings.After the debate concerning the possible impact on the discoverer of America by the expeditions of the Vikings initiated by Scandinavian scientists in the 19th century and continuing until the second half of the 20th century, it was generally agreed that Columbus sailed at least as far as Iceland.