After garnering fame from his second voyage, where he discovered the New World Columbus decided to embark on his Third Voyage on May 30, 1498. Things looked bad when the fleet was caught in doldrums in the mid-Atlantic, with no wind moving the ship. With their supplies running low, they were forced to land on Trinidad on July 31st to resupply.
On this day August 4th, in 1498, Columbus begins his exploration of the Gulf of Paria. The Gulf of Paria is a small island, 3,000 sq. miles, separating Trinidad and Venezuela. Columbus titled it Golfo de la Ballena (The Gulf of the Whale), for the large whale population in the nearby waters.
Unfortunately the population of whales was decimated during the 19th century due to the whale hunters. To this day the whale population has yet to resurface. However the Gulf of Paria still has a large amount of biodiversity because of its mangroves (medium trees and shrubs which grow near a coastline), and also is known for its many fisheries.