CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, Admiral of the Ocean Fleet.
Epigram of R. L. de Corbaria, Bishop of Monte Peloso
“To THE MOST INVINCIBLE KING OF SPAIN
“No region now can add to Spain’s great deeds: To such men all the world is yet too small. An Orient land, found far beyond the waves, Will add, great Betica, to thy renown. Then to Columbus, the true finder, give Due thanks; but greater still to God on high, Who makes new kingdoms for himself and thee: Both firm and pious let thy conduct be.”
All the conditions which the admiral demanded being conceded by their Catholic majesties, he set out from Granada on May 21, 1492, for Palos, where he was to fit out the ships for his intended expedition. That town was bound to serve the crown for three months with two caravels, which were ordered to be given to Columbus; and he fitted out these and a third vessel with all care and diligence. The ship in which he personally embarked was called the Santa Maria; the second vessel, named the Pinta, was commanded by Martin Alonso Pinzon; and the third, named the Nina, which had square sails, was under the command of Vincent Yanez Pinzon, the brother of Alonso, both of whom were inhabitants of Palos. Being furnished with all necessaries, and having ninety men to navigate the three vessels, Columbus set sail from Palos on August 3, 1492, shaping his course directly for the Canaries.
During this voyage, and indeed in all the four voyages which he made from Spain to the West Indies, the admiral was very careful to keep an exact journal of every occurrence which took place; always specifying what winds blew, how far he sailed with each particular wind, what currents were found, and everything that was seen by the way, whether birds, fishes, or any other thing. Although to note all these particulars with a minute relation of everything that happened, showing what impressions and effects answered to the course and aspect of the stars, and the differences between the seas which he sailed and those of our countries, might all be useful; yet, as I conceive that the relation of these particulars might now be tiresome to the reader, I shall only give an account of what appears to me necessary and convenient to be known.