In 1493 Christopher Colombus left Cadiz with a fleet of seventeen ships and the supplies aimed to establish and base permanent colonies in the New World. The passengers included farmers, soldiers, and priests. This also reflected the new policy of creating not only "colonies of exploitation" but also "colonies of settlement" from which to launch missions dedicated to turning the natives to Christianity.
Like in the first voyage, the fleet stopped at the Canary Islands, from which it departed on October 13 with a more southern course than during the previous expedition. Later Columbus sighted a rugged island that he decided to name Dominica. The same day explorer landed at Marie-Galante, which he called Santa Maria De Guadalupe de Extremadura. He continued exploring the island for about six days.
The precise course of Columbus's journey through the Lesser Antilles is debated. Still, there is a possibility that he turned north, sighting and naming different islands, including Redonda, Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua, Saint Kitts, Sint Eustatius, Saint Martin, Saba, and Saint Croix.
During the voyage, Columbus also sighted the chain of the Virgin Islands and named them Islas de Santa.
Return to Hispaniola
Columbus decided to return to Hispaniola and visit the fort of La Navidad that he built during his first voyage. However, Columbus found out that the native Taino people destroyed the fort. Corpses of 11 of 39 Spaniards laid among the ruins. Christopher then decided to sail more than 62 miles eastwards along the northern coast of Hispaniola, establishing a new settlement, which he named La Isabela. However, the La Isabela settlement was short-lived due to its poor location.