The admiral arrived at Gomera on Sunday the 12th of August, and sent a boat on shore to inquire if any vessel could be procured there for his purpose. The boat returned next morning, and brought intelligence that no vessel was then at that island, but that Donna Beatrix de Bobadilla, the propriatrix of the island, was then at Gran Canaria in a hired vessel of 40 tons belonging to one Gradeuna of Seville, which would probably suit his purpose and might perhaps be got. He therefore determined to await the arrival of that vessel at Gomera, believing that Pinzon might have secured a vessel for himself at Gran Canaria, if he had not been able to repair his own. After waiting two days, he dispatched one of his people in a bark which was bound from Gomera to Gran Canaria, to acquaint Pinzon where he lay, and to assist him in repairing and fixing the rudder.
Having waited a considerable time for an answer to his letter, he sailed with the two vessels from Gomera on the 23d August for Gran Canaria, and fell in with the bark on the following day, which had been detained all that time on its voyage by contrary winds. He now took his man from the bark, and sailing in the night past the island of Teneriffe, the people were much astonished at observing flames bursting out of the lofty mountain called El Pico, or the peak of Teneriffe. On this occasion the admiral was at great pains to explain the nature of this phenomenon to the people, by instancing the example of Etna and several other known volcanos.
Passing by Teneriffe, they arrived at Gran Canaria on Saturday the 25th August; and found that Pinzon had only got in there the day before. From him the admiral was informed that Donna Beatrix had sailed for Gomera on the 20th with the vessel which he was so anxious to obtain. His officers were much troubled at the disappointment; but he, who always endeavoured to make the best of every occurrence, observed to them that since it had not pleased God that they should get this vessel it was perhaps better for them; as they might have encountered much opposition in pressing it into the service, and might have lost a great deal of time in shipping and unshipping the goods. Wherefore, lest he might again miss it if he returned to Gomera, he resolved to make a new rudder for the Pinta at Gran Canaria, and ordered the square sails of the Nina to be changed to round ones, like those of the other two vessels, that she might be able to accompany them with less danger and agitation.
The vessels being all refitted, the admiral weighed anchor from Gran Canaria on Saturday the first of September, and arrived next day at Gomera, where four days were employed in completing their stores of provisions and of wood and water. On the morning of Thursday the sixth of September 1492, the admiral took his departure from Gomera, and commenced his great undertaking by standing directly westwards, but made very slow progress at first on account of calms. On Sunday