From my youth onward, I was a seaman and have so continued until
this day....Wherever on earth a ship has been, I have been. I have
spoken and treated with learned men, priests, and laymen, Latins and
Greeks, Jews and Moors, and with many men of other faiths.
The Lord was well disposed to my desire, and He
bestowed upon me courage and understanding: knowledge of seafaring
He gave me in abundance, of astrology as much as was needed, and of
geometry and astronomy likewise. Further, He gave me joy and cunning
in drawing maps and thereon cities, mountains, rivers, islands, and
harbors, each one in its place. I have seen and truly I have studies
all books – cosmographies, histories, chronicles and philosophies,
and other arts, for which our Lord unlocked my mind, and sent me
upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed.
Those who heard of my emprise called it foolish, mocked
me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired