Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 Italia. He had moved to Spain, theorized that since the earth was a sphere, a ship could reach the Far East from the opposite direction. He convinced the monarchs to sponsor his search, setting sail in August 1492. After 10 weeks, he sighted an island in the Bahamas, which he named San Salvador. Thinking he had found islands near Japan, he sailed on until he reached Cuba (which he thought was China) and Haiti. He encountered dark-skinned peoples whom he called “Indians” because he assumed he had been sailing in the Indian Ocean. Columbus made 3 more voyages to the New World which he thought was the East, in 1493, 1497 and 1502, exploring Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Trinidad. He never reached North America, and until he died in 1506, thought he had reached Asia.