Wednesday, 19th of December
This night the Admiral got under way to leave the gulf formed between the islands of Tortuga and Espanola, but at dawn of day a breeze sprang up from the east, against which he was unable to get clear of the strait between the two islands during the whole day. At night he was unable to reach a port which was in sight.[187-1] He made out four points of land, and a great bay with a river, and beyond he saw a large bay,[187-2] where there was a village, with a valley behind it among high mountains covered with trees, which appeared to be pines. Over the Two Brothers there is a very high mountain-range running N.E. and S.W., and E.S.E. from the Cabo de Torres is a small island to which the Admiral gave the name of Santo Tomas, because to-morrow was his vigil. The whole circuit of this island alternates with capes and excellent harbors, so far as could be judged from the sea. Before coming to the island on the west side, there is a cape which runs far into the sea, in part high, the rest low; and for this reason the Admiral named it Cabo Alto y Bajo.[188-1] From the road[188-2] of Torres East by South 60 miles, there is a mountain higher than any that reaches the sea,[188-3] and from a distance it looks like an island, owing to a depression on the land side. It was named Monte Caribata, because that province was called Caribata. It is very beautiful, and covered with green trees, without snow or clouds. The weather was then, as regards the air and temperature, like March in Castile, and as regards vegetation, like May. The nights lasted 14 hours.[188-4]
Thursday, 20th of December
At sunrise they entered a port between the island of Santo Tomas and the Cabo de Carabata,[188-5] and anchored. This port is very beautiful, and would hold all the ships in Christendom. The entrance appears impossible from the sea to those who have never entered, owing to some reefs of rocks which run from the mountainous cape almost to the island. They are not placed in a row, but one here, another there, some towards the sea, others near the land. It is therefore necessary to keep a good look-out for the entrances, which are wide and with a depth of 7 fathoms, so that they can be used without fear. Inside the reefs there is a depth of 12 fathoms. A ship can lie with a cable made fast, against any wind that blows. At the entrance of this port there is a channel on the west side of a sandy islet with 7 fathoms, and many trees on its shore. But there are many sunken rocks in that direction, and a look-out should be kept up until the port is reached. Afterwards there is no need to fear the greatest storm in the world. From this port a very beautiful cultivated valley is in sight, descending from the S.E., surrounded by such lofty mountains that they appear to reach the sky, and covered with green trees. Without doubt there are mountains here which are higher than the island of Tenerife, in the Canaries, which is held to be the highest yet known.[189-1] On this side of the island of Santo Tomas, at a distance of a league, there is another islet, and beyond it another, forming wonderful harbors; though a good look-out must be kept for sunken rocks. The Admiral also saw villages, and smoke made by them.
Friday, 21st of December
To-day the Admiral went with the ship's boats to examine this port, which he found to be such that it could not be equalled by any he had yet seen; but, having praised the others so much, he knew not how to express himself, fearing that he will be looked upon as one who goes beyond the truth. He therefore contents himself with saying that he had old sailors with him who say the same. All the praises he has bestowed on the other ports are true, and that this is better than any of them is equally true. He further says: "I have traversed the sea for 23 years,[189-2] without leaving it for any time worth counting, and I saw all the east and the west, going on the route of the north, which is England, and I have been to Guinea, but in all those parts there will not be found the perfection of harbors ...[189-3] always found ...[189-4] better than another, that I, with good care, saw written; and I again affirm it was well written, that this one is better than all others, and will hold all the ships of the world, secured with the oldest cables."[190-1] From the entrance to the end is a distance of five leagues.[190-2] The Admiral saw some very well cultivated lands, although they are all so, and he sent two of the boat's crew to the top of a hill to see if any village was near, for none could be seen from the sea. At about ten o'clock that night, certain Indians came in a canoe to see the Admiral and the Christians, and they were given presents, with which they were much pleased. The two men returned, and reported that they had seen a very large village at a short distance from the sea.[190-3] The Admiral ordered the boat to row towards the place where the village was until they came near the land, when he saw two Indians, who came to the shore apparently in a state of fear. So he ordered the boats to stop, and the Indians that were with the Admiral were told to assure the two natives that no harm whatever was intended to them. Then they came nearer the sea, and the Admiral nearer the land. As soon as the natives had got rid of their fear, so many came that they covered the ground, with women and children, giving a thousand thanks. They ran hither and thither to bring us bread made of niames, which they call ajes, which is very white and good, and water in calabashes, and in earthen jars made like those of Spain, and everything else they had and that they thought the Admiral could want, and all so willingly and cheerfully that it was wonderful. "It cannot be said that, because what they gave was worth little, therefore they gave liberally, because those who had pieces of gold gave as freely as those who had a calabash of water; and it is easy to know when a thing is given with a hearty desire to give." These are the Admiral's words. "These people have no spears nor any other arms, nor have any of the inhabitants of the whole island, which I believe to be very large. They go naked as when their mothers bore them, both men and women. In Juana and the other islands the women wear a small clout of cotton in front, with which to cover their private parts, as large as the flap of a man's breeches, especially after they have passed the age of twelve years, but here neither old nor young do so. Also, the men in the other islands jealously hide their women from the Christians, but here they do not." The women have very beautiful bodies, and they were the first to come and give thanks to Heaven, and to bring what they had, especially things to eat, such as bread of ajes, nuts,[191-1] and four or five kinds of fruits, some of which the Admiral ordered to be preserved, to be taken to the Sovereigns. He says that the women did not do less in other ports before they were hidden; and he always gave orders that none of his people should annoy them; that nothing should be taken against their wills, and that everything that was taken should be paid for. Finally, he says that no one could believe that there could be such good-hearted people, so free to give, anxious to let the Christians have all they wanted, and, when visitors arrived, running to bring everything to them.
Afterwards the Admiral sent six Christians to the village to see what it was like, and the natives showed them all the honor they could devise, and gave them all they had; for no doubt was any longer entertained that the Admiral and all his people had come from Heaven; and the same was believed by the Indians who were brought from the other islands, although they had now been told what they ought to think. When the six Christians had gone, some canoas came with people to ask the Admiral to come to their village when he left the place where he was. Canoa is a boat in which they navigate, some large and others small. Seeing that this village of the chief was on the road, and that many people were waiting there for him, the Admiral went there; but, before he could depart, an enormous crowd came to the shore, men, women, and children, crying out to him not to go, but to stay with them. The messengers from the other chief, who had come to invite him, were waiting with their canoes, that he might not go away, but come to see their chief, and so he did. On arriving where the chief was waiting for him with many things to eat, he ordered that all the people should sit down, and that the food should be taken to the boats, where the Admiral was, on the sea-shore. When he saw that the Admiral had received what he sent, all or most of the Indians ran to the village, which was near, to bring more food, parrots, and other things they had, with such frankness of heart that it was marvellous. The Admiral gave them glass beads, brass trinkets, and bells: not because they asked for anything in return, but because it seemed right, and, above all, because he now looked upon them as future Christians, and subjects of the Sovereigns, as much as the people of Castile. He further says that they want nothing except to know the language and be under governance; for all they may be told to do will be done without any contradiction. The Admiral left this place to go to the ships, and the people, men, women, and children, cried out to him not to go, but remain with them. After the boats departed, several canoes full of people followed after them to the ship, who were received with much honor, and given to eat. There had also come before another chief from the west, and many people even came swimming, the ship being over a good half-league from the shore. I sent certain persons to the chief, who had gone back, to ask him about these islands. He received them very well, and took them to his village, to give them some large pieces of gold. They arrived at a large river, which the Indians crossed by swimming. The Christians were unable, so they turned back. In all this district there are very high mountains which seem to reach the sky, so that the mountain in the island of Tenerife appears as nothing in height and beauty, and they are all green with trees. Between them there are very delicious valleys, and at the end of this port, to the south, there is a valley so large that the end of it is not visible, though no mountains intervene, so that it seems to be 15 or 20 leagues long. A river flows through it, and it is all inhabited and cultivated, and as green as Castile in May or June; but the night contains 14 hours, the land being so far north. This port is very good for all the winds that can blow, being enclosed and deep, and the shores peopled by a good and gentle race without arms or evil designs. Any ship may lie within it without fear that other ships will enter at night to attack her, because, although the entrance is over two leagues wide, it is protected by reefs of rocks which are barely awash; and there is only a very narrow channel through the reef, which looks as if it had been artificially made, leaving an open door by which ships may enter. In the entrance there are 7 fathoms of depth up to the shore of a small flat island, which has a beach fringed with trees. The entrance is on the west side, and a ship can come without fear until she is close to the rock. On the N.W. side there are three islands, and a great river a league from the cape on one side of the port. It is the best harbor in the world, and the Admiral gave it the name of Puerto de la Mar de Santo Tomas, because to-day it was that Saint's day. The Admiral called it a sea, owing to its size.
Saturday, 22nd of December
At dawn the Admiral made sail to shape a course in search of the islands which the Indians had told him contained much gold, some of them having more gold than earth. But the weather was not favorable, so he anchored again, and sent away the boat to fish with a net. The lord of that land,[193-1] who had a place near there, sent a large canoe full of people, including one of his principal attendants, to invite the Admiral to come with the ships to his land, where he would give him all he wanted. The chief sent, by this servant, a girdle which, instead of a purse,[194-1] had attached to it a mask with two large ears made of beaten gold, the tongue, and the nose. These people are very open-hearted, and whatever they are asked for they give most willingly; while, when they themselves ask for anything, they do so as if receiving a great favor. So says the Admiral. They brought the canoe alongside the boat, and gave the girdle to a boy; then they came on board with their mission. It took a good part of the day before they could be understood. Not even the Indians who were on board understood them well, because they have some differences of words for the names of things. At last their invitation was understood by signs. The Admiral determined to start to-morrow, although he did not usually sail on a Sunday, owing to a devout feeling, and not on account of any superstition whatever. But in the hope that these people would become Christians through the willingness they show, and that they will be subjects of the Sovereigns of Castile, and because he now holds them to be so, and that they may serve with love, he wished and endeavored to please them. Before leaving, to-day, the Admiral sent six men to a large village three leagues to the westward, because the chief had come the day before and said that he had some pieces of gold. When the Christians arrived, the secretary of the Admiral, who was one of them, took the chief by the hand. The Admiral had sent him, to prevent the others from imposing upon the Indians. As the Indians are so simple, and the Spaniards so avaricious and grasping, it does not suffice that the Indians should give them all they want in exchange for a bead or a bit of glass, but the Spaniards would take everything without any return at all. The Admiral always prohibits this, although, with the exception of gold, the things given by the Indians are of little value. But the Admiral, seeing the simplicity of the Indians, and that they will give a piece of gold in exchange for six beads, gave the order that nothing should be received from them unless something had been given in exchange. Thus the chief took the secretary by the hand and led him to his house, followed by the whole village, which was very large. He made his guests eat, and the Indians brought them many cotton fabrics, and spun-cotton in skeins. In the afternoon the chief gave them three very fat geese and some small pieces of gold. A great number of people went back with them, carrying all the things they had got by barter, and they also carried the Spaniards themselves across streams and muddy places. The Admiral ordered some things to be given to the chief, and both he and his people were very well satisfied, truly believing that the Christians had come from Heaven, so that they considered themselves fortunate in beholding them. On this day more than 120 canoes came to the ships, all full of people, and all bringing something, especially their bread and fish, and fresh water in earthen jars. They also brought seeds of good kinds, and there was a grain which they put into a porringer of water and drank it. The Indians who were on board said that this was very wholesome.
Sunday, 23rd of December
The Admiral could not go with the ships to that land whither he had been invited by the chief, because there was no wind. But he sent, with the three messengers who were waiting for the boats, some people, including the secretary. While they were gone, he sent two of the Indians he had on board with him to the villages which were near the anchorage. They returned to the ship with a chief, who brought the news that there was a great quantity of gold in that island of Espanola, and that people from other parts came to buy it. They said that here the Admiral would find as much as he wanted. Others came, who confirmed the statement that there was much gold in the island, and explained the way it was collected. The Admiral understood all this with much difficulty; nevertheless, he concluded that there was a very great quantity in those parts, and that, if he could find the place whence it was got, there would be abundance; and, if not, there would be nothing. He believed there must be a great deal, because during the three days that he had been in that port, he had got several pieces of gold, and he could not believe that it was brought from another land. "Our Lord, who holds all things in his hands, look upon me, and grant what shall be for his service." These are the Admiral's words. He says that, according to his reckoning, a thousand people had visited the ship, all of them bringing something. Before they come alongside, at a distance of a crossbow-shot, they stand up in the canoe with what they bring in their hands, crying out, "Take it! take it!" He also reckoned that 500 came to the ship swimming, because they had no canoes, the ship being near a league from the shore. Among the visitors, five chiefs had come, sons of chiefs, with all their families of wives and children, to see the Christians. The Admiral ordered something to be given to all, because such gifts were all well employed. "May our Lord favor me by his clemency, that I may find this gold, I mean the mine of gold, which I hold to be here, many saying that they know it." These are his words. The boats arrived at night, and said that there was a grand road as far as they went, and they found many canoes, with people who went to see the Admiral and the Christians, at the mountain of Caribatan. They held it for certain that, if the Christmas festival was kept in that port,[196-1] all the people of the island would come, which they calculated to be larger than England.[196-2] All the people went with them to the village,[196-3] which they said was the largest, and the best laid out with streets, of any they had seen. The Admiral says it is part of the Punta Santa,[196-4] almost three leagues S.E. The canoes go very fast with paddles; so they went ahead to apprise the Cacique, as they call the chief. Up to that time the Admiral had not been able to understand whether Cacique meant king or governor. They also have another name for a great man—Nitayno;[197-1] but it was not clear whether they used it for lord, or governor, or judge. At last the cacique came to them, and joined them in the square, which was clean-swept, as was all the village. The population numbered over 2,000 men. This king did great honor to the people from the ship, and every inhabitant brought them something to eat and drink. Afterwards the king gave each of them cotton cloths such as women wear, with parrots for the Admiral, and some pieces of gold. The people also gave cloths and other things from their houses to the sailors; and as for the trifles they got in return, they seemed to look upon them as relics. When they wanted to return in the afternoon, he asked them to stay until the next day, and all the people did the same. When they saw that the Spaniards were determined to go, they accompanied them most of the way, carrying the gifts of the cacique on their backs as far as the boats, which had been left at the mouth of the river.
Monday, 24th of December
Before sunrise the Admiral got under way with the land-breeze. Among the numerous Indians who had come to the ship yesterday, and had made signs that there was gold in the island, naming the places whence it was collected, the Admiral noticed one who seemed more fully informed, or who spoke with more willingness, so he asked him to come with the Christians and show them the position of the gold mines. This Indian has a companion or relation with him, and among other places they mentioned where gold was found, they named Cipango, which they called Civao.[197-2] Here they said that there was a great quantity of gold, and that the cacique carried banners of beaten gold. But they added that it was very far off to the eastward.
Here the Admiral addresses the following words to the Sovereigns: "Your Highnesses may believe that there is no better nor gentler people in the world. Your Highnesses ought to rejoice that they will soon become Christians, and that they will be taught the good customs of your kingdom. A better race there cannot be, and both the people and the lands are in such quantity that I know not how to write it. I have spoken in the superlative degree of the country and people of Juana which they call Cuba, but there is as much difference between them and this island and people as between day and night. I believe that no one who should see them could say less than I have said, and I repeat that the things and the great villages of this island of Espanola, which they call Bohio, are wonderful. All here have a loving manner and gentle speech, unlike the others, who seem to be menacing when they speak. Both men and women are of good stature, and not black. It is true that they all paint, some with black, others with other colors, but most with red. I know that they are tanned by the sun, but this does not affect them much. Their houses and villages are pretty, each with a chief, who acts as their judge, and who is obeyed by them. All these lords use few words, and have excellent manners. Most of their orders are given by a sign with the hand, which is understood with surprising quickness." All these are the words of the Admiral.
He who would enter the sea of Santo Tome[198-1] ought to stand for a good league across the mouth to a flat island in the middle, which was named La Amiga,[198-2] pointing her head towards it. When the ship is within a stone's-throw of it the course should be altered to make for the eastern shore, leaving the west side, and this shore, and not the other, should be kept on board, because a great reef runs out from the west, and even beyond that there are three sunken rocks. This reef comes within a lombard-shot of the Amiga island. Between them there are seven fathoms at least, with a gravelly bottom. Within, a harbor will be found large enough for all the ships in the world, which would be there without need of cables. There is another reef with sunken rocks, on the east side of the island of Amiga, which are extensive and run out to sea, reaching within two leagues of the cape. But it appeared that between them there was an entrance, within two lombard-shots of Amiga, on the west side of Monte Caribatan, where there was a good and very large port.[199-1]
Tuesday, 25th of December. Christmas
Navigating yesterday, with little wind, from Santo Tome to Punta Santa, and being a league from it, at about eleven o'clock at night the Admiral went down to get some sleep, for he had not had any rest for two days and a night. As it was calm, the sailor who steered the ship thought he would go to sleep, leaving the tiller in charge of a boy.[199-2] The Admiral had forbidden this throughout the voyage, whether it was blowing or whether it was calm. The boys were never to be entrusted with the helm. The Admiral had no anxiety respecting sand-banks and rocks, because, when he sent the boats to that king on Sunday, they had passed to the east of Punta Santa at least three leagues and a half, and the sailors had seen all the coast, and the rocks there are from Punta Santa, for a distance of three leagues to the E.S.E. They saw the course that should be taken, which had not been the case before, during this voyage. It pleased our Lord that, at twelve o'clock at night, when the Admiral had retired to rest, and when all had fallen asleep, seeing that it was a dead calm and the sea like glass, the tiller being in the hands of a boy, the current carried the ship on one of the sand-banks. If it had not been night the bank could have been seen, and the surf on it could be heard for a good league. But the ship ran upon it so gently that it could scarcely be felt. The boy, who felt the helm and heard the rush of the sea, cried out. The Admiral at once came up, and so quickly that no one had felt that the ship was aground. Presently the master of the ship,[200-1] whose watch it was, came on deck. The Admiral ordered him and others to launch the boat, which was on the poop, and lay out an anchor astern. The master, with several others, got into the boat, and the Admiral thought that they did so with the object of obeying his orders. But they did so in order to take refuge with the caravel, which was half a league to leeward. The caravel would not allow them to come on board acting judiciously, and they therefore returned to the ship; but the caravel's boat arrived first. When the Admiral saw that his own people fled in this way, the water rising and the ship being across the sea, seeing no other course, he ordered the masts to be cut away and the ship to be lightened as much as possible, to see if she would come off. But, as the water continued to rise, nothing more could be done. Her side fell over across the sea, but it was nearly calm. Then the timbers opened, and the ship was lost.[200-2] The Admiral went to the caravel to arrange about the reception of the ship's crew, and as a light breeze was blowing from the land, and continued during the greater part of the night, while it was unknown how far the bank extended, he hove her to until daylight. He then went back to the ship, inside the reef; first having sent a boat on shore with Diego de Arana of Cordova, alguazil of the fleet, and Pedro Gutierrez, gentleman of the king's bedchamber, to inform the king, who had invited the ships to come on the previous Saturday. His town was about a league and a half from the sand-bank. They reported that he wept when he heard the news, and he sent all his people with large canoes to unload the ship. This was done, and they landed all there was between decks in a very short time. Such was the great promptitude and diligence shown by that king. He himself, with brothers and relations, was actively assisting as well in the ship as in the care of the property when it was landed, that all might be properly guarded. Now and then he sent one of his relations weeping to the Admiral, to console him, saying that he must not feel sorrow or annoyance, for he would supply all that was needed. The Admiral assured the Sovereigns that there could not have been such good watch kept in any part of Castile, for that there was not even a needle missing. He ordered that all the property should be placed by some houses which the king placed at his disposal, until they were emptied, when everything would be stowed and guarded in them. Armed men were placed round the stores to watch all night. "The king and all his people wept [says the Admiral]. They are a loving people, without covetousness, and fit for anything; and I assure your Highnesses that there is no better land nor people. They love their neighbors as themselves, and their speech is the sweetest and gentlest in the world, and always with a smile. Men and women go as naked as when their mothers bore them. Your Highnesses should believe that they have very good customs among themselves. The king is a man of remarkable presence, and with a certain self-contained manner that is a pleasure to see. They have good memories, wish to see everything, and ask the use of what they see." All this is written by the Admiral.
Wednesday, 26th of December
To-day, at sunrise, the king of that land came to the caravel Nina where the Admiral was, and said to him, almost weeping, that he need not be sorry, for that he would give him all he had; that he had placed two large houses at the disposal of the Christians who were on shore, and that he would give more if they were required, and as many canoes as could load from the ship and discharge on shore, with as many people as were wanted. This had all been done yesterday, without so much as a needle being missed. "So honest are they," says the Admiral, "without any covetousness for the goods of others, and so above all was that virtuous king." While the Admiral was talking to him, another canoe arrived from a different place, bringing some pieces of gold, which the people in the canoe wanted to exchange for a hawk's bell; for there was nothing they desired more than these bells. They had scarcely come alongside when they called and held up the gold, saying Chuq chuq for the bells, for they are quite mad about them. After the king had seen this, and when the canoes which came from other places had departed, he called the Admiral and asked him to give orders that one of the bells was to be kept for another day, when he would bring four pieces of gold the size of a man's hand. The Admiral rejoiced to hear this, and afterwards a sailor, who came from the shore, told him that it was wonderful what pieces of gold the men on shore were getting in exchange for next to nothing. For a needle they got a piece of gold worth two castellanos, and that this was nothing to what it would be within a month. The king rejoiced much when he saw that the Admiral was pleased. He understood that his friend wanted much gold, and he said, by signs, that he knew where there was, in the vicinity, a very large quantity; so that he must be in good heart, for he should have as much as he wanted. He gave some account of it, especially saying that in Cipango, which they call Cibao,[202-1] it is so abundant that it is of no value, and that they will bring it, although there is also much more in the island of Espanola, which they call Bohio, and in the province of Caritaba. The king dined on board the caravel with the Admiral and afterwards went on shore, where he received the Admiral with much honor. He gave him a collation consisting of three or four kinds of ajes, with shrimps and game, and other viands they have, besides the bread they call cazavi.[202-2] He then took the Admiral to see some groves of trees near the houses, and they were accompanied by at least a thousand people, all naked. The lord had on a shirt and a pair of gloves, given to him by the Admiral, and he was more delighted with the gloves than with anything else. In his manner of eating, both as regards the high-bred air and the peculiar cleanliness he clearly showed his nobility. After he had eaten, he remained some time at table, and they brought him certain herbs, with which he rubbed his hands. The Admiral thought that this was done to make them soft, and they also gave him water for his hands. After the meal he took the Admiral to the beach. The Admiral then sent for a Turkish bow and a quiver of arrows, and took a shot at a man of his company, who had been warned. The chief, who knew nothing about arms, as they neither have them nor use them, thought this a wonderful thing. He, however, began to talk of those of Caniba, whom they call Caribes. They come to capture the natives, and have bows and arrows without iron, of which there is no memory in any of these lands, nor of steel, nor any other metal except gold and copper. Of copper the Admiral had only seen very little. The Admiral said, by signs, that the Sovereigns of Castile would order the Caribs to be destroyed, and that all should be taken with their hands tied together. He ordered a lombard and a hand-gun to be fired off, and seeing the effect caused by its force and what the shots penetrated, the king was astonished. When his people heard the explosion they all fell on the ground. They brought the Admiral a large mask, which had pieces of gold for the eyes and ears and in other parts, and this they gave, with other trinkets of gold that the same king had put on the head and round the neck of the Admiral, and of other Christians, to whom they also gave many pieces. The Admiral received much pleasure and consolation from these things, which tempered the anxiety and sorrow he felt at the loss of the ship. He knew our Lord had caused the ship to stop here, that a settlement might be formed. "From this," he says, "originated so many things that, in truth, the disaster was really a piece of good fortune. For it is certain that, if I had not lost the ship, I should have gone on without anchoring in this place, which is within a great bay, having two or three reefs of rock. I should not have left people in the country during this voyage, nor even if I had desired to leave them, should I have been able to obtain so much information, nor such supplies and provisions for a fortress. And true it is that many people had asked me to give them leave to remain. Now I have given orders for a tower and a fort, both well built, and a large cellar, not because I believe that such defences will be necessary. I believe that with the force I have with me I could subjugate the whole island, which I believe to be larger than Portugal, and the population double.[204-1] But they are naked and without arms and hopelessly timid. Still, it is advisable to build this tower being so far from your Highnesses. The people may thus know the skill of the subjects of your Highnesses, and what they can do; and will obey them with love and fear. So they make preparations to build the fortress, with provision of bread and wine for more than a year, with seeds for sowing, the ship's boat, a caulker and carpenter, a gunner and cooper. Many among these men have a great desire to serve your Highnesses and to please me, by finding out where the mine is whence the gold is brought. Thus everything is got in readiness to begin the work. Above all, it was so calm that there was scarcely wind or wave when the ship ran aground." This is what the Admiral says; and he adds more to show that it was great good luck, and the settled design of God, that the ship should be lost in order that people might be left behind. If it had not been for the treachery of the master and his boat's crew, who were all or mostly his countrymen,[204-2] in neglecting to lay out the anchor so as to haul the ship off in obedience to the Admiral's orders, she would have been saved. In that case, the same knowledge of the land as has been gained in these days would not have been secured, for the Admiral always proceeded with the object of discovering, and never intended to stop more than a day at any one place, unless he was detained by the wind. Still the ship was very heavy and unsuited for discovery. It was the people of Palos who obliged him to take such a ship, by not complying "with what they had promised to the King and Queen, namely, to supply suitable vessels for this expedition. This they did not do. Of all that there was on board the ship, not a needle, nor a board, nor a nail was lost, for she remained as whole as when she sailed, except that it was necessary to cut away and level down in order to get out the jars and merchandise, which were landed and carefully guarded." He trusted in God that, when he returned from Spain, according to his intention, he would find a tun of gold collected by barter by those he was to leave behind, and that they would have found the mine, and spices in such quantities that the Sovereigns would, in three years, be able to undertake and fit out an expedition to go and conquer the Holy Sepulchre. "With this in view," he says, "I protested to your Highnesses that all the profits of this my enterprise should be spent in the conquest of Jerusalem, and your Highnesses laughed and said that it pleased them, and that, without this, they entertained that desire." These are the Admiral's words.
Thursday, 27th of December
The king of that land came alongside the caravel at sunrise, and said that he had sent for gold, and that he would collect all he could before the Admiral departed; but he begged him not to go. The king and one of his brothers, with another very intimate relation, dined with the Admiral, and the two latter said they wished to go to Castile with him. At this time the news came that the caravel Pinta was in a river at the end of this island. Presently the cacique sent a canoe there, and the Admiral sent a sailor in it. For it was wonderful how devoted the cacique was to the Admiral. The necessity was now evident of hurrying on preparations for the return to Castile.
Friday, 28th of December
The Admiral went on shore to give orders and hurry on the work of building the fort, and to settle what men should remain behind.[206-1] The king, it would seem, had watched him getting into the boat, and quickly went into his house dissimulating, sending one of his brothers to receive the Admiral and conduct him to one of the houses that had been set aside for the Spaniards, which was the largest and best in the town. In it there was a couch made of palm matting, where they sat down. Afterward the brother sent an attendant to say that the Admiral was there, as if the king did not know that he had come. The Admiral, however, believed that this was a feint in order to do him honor more. The attendant gave the message, and the cacique came in great haste, and put a large soft piece of gold he had in his hand round the Admiral's neck. They remained together until the evening, arranging what had to be done.
Saturday, 29th of December
A very youthful nephew of the king came to the caravel at sunrise, who showed a good understanding and disposition. As the Admiral was always working to find out the origin of the gold, he asked everyone, for he could now understand somewhat by signs. This youth told him that, at a distance of four days' journey, there was an island to the eastward called Guarionex, and others called Macorix, Mayonic, Fuma, Cibao, and Coroay,[206-2] in which there was plenty of gold. The Admiral wrote these names down, and now understood what had been said by a brother of the king, who was annoyed with him, as the Admiral understood. At other times the Admiral had suspected that the king had worked against his knowing where the gold had its origin and was collected, that he might not go away to barter in another part of the island. For there are such a number of places in this same island that it is wonderful. After nightfall the king sent a large mask of gold, and asked for a washhand basin and jug. The Admiral thought he wanted them for patterns to copy from, and therefore sent them.
Sunday, 30th of December
The Admiral went on shore to dinner, and came at a time when five kings had arrived, all with their crowns, who were subject to this king, named Guacanagari. They represented a very good state of affairs, and the Admiral says to the Sovereigns that it would have given them pleasure to see the manner of their arrival. On landing, the Admiral was received by the king, who led him by the arms to the same house where he was yesterday, where there were chairs, and a couch on which the Admiral sat. Presently the king took the crown off his head and put it on the Admiral's head, and the Admiral took from his neck a collar of beautiful beads of several different colors, which looked very well in all its parts, and put it on the king. He also took off a cloak of fine material, in which he had dressed himself that day, and dressed the king in it, and sent for some colored boots, which he put on his feet, and he put a large silver ring on his finger, because he had heard that he had admired greatly a silver ornament worn by one of the sailors. The king was highly delighted and well satisfied, and two of those kings who were with him came with him to where the Admiral was, and each gave him a piece of gold. At this time an Indian came and reported that it was two days since he left the caravel Pinta in a port to the eastward. The Admiral returned to the caravel and Vincent Anes,[207-1] the captain, said that he had seen the rhubarb plant, and that they had it on the island Amiga, which is at the entrance of the sea of Santo Tome, six leagues off, and that he had recognized the branches and roots. They say that rhubarb forms small branches above ground, and fruit like green mulberries, almost dry, and the stalk, near the root, is as yellow and delicate as the best color for painting, and underground the root grows like a large pear.
Monday, 31st of December
To-day the Admiral was occupied in seeing that water and fuel were taken on board for the voyage to Spain, to give early notice to the Sovereigns, that they might despatch ships to complete the discoveries. For now the business appeared to be so great and important that the Admiral was astonished.[208-1] He did not wish to go until he had examined all the land to the eastward, and explored the coast, so as to know the route to Castile, with a view to sending sheep and cattle.[208-2] But as he had been left with only a single vessel, it did not appear prudent to encounter the dangers that are inevitable in making discoveries. He complained that all this inconvenience had been caused by the caravel Pinta having parted company.
Tuesday, 1st of January, 1493
At midnight the Admiral sent a boat to the island Amiga to bring the rhubarb. It returned at vespers with a bundle of it. They did not bring more because they had no spade to dig it up with; it was taken to be shown to the Sovereigns. The king of that land said that he had sent many canoes for gold. The canoe returned that had been sent for tidings of the Pinta, without having found her. The sailor who went in the canoe said that twenty leagues from there he had seen a king who wore two large plates of gold on his head, but when the Indians in the canoe spoke to him he took them off. He also saw much gold on other people. The Admiral considered that the King Guacanagari ought to have prohibited his people from selling gold to the Christians, in order that it might all pass through his hands. But the king knew the places, as before stated, where there was such a quantity that it was not valued. The supply of spices also is extensive, and is worth more than pepper or manegueta.[209-1] He left instructions to those who wished to remain that they were to collect as much as they could.
Wednesday, 2nd of January
In the morning the Admiral went on shore to take leave of the King Guacanagari, and to depart from him in the name of the Lord. He gave him one of his shirts. In order to show him the force of the lombards, and what effect they had, he ordered one to be loaded and fired into the side of the ship that was on shore, for this was apposite to the conversation respecting the Caribs, with whom Guacanagari was at war. The king saw whence the lombard-shot came, and how it passed through the side of the ship and went far away over the sea. The Admiral also ordered a skirmish of the crews of the ships, fully armed, saying to the cacique that he need have no fear of the Caribs even if they should come. All this was done that the king might look upon the men who were left behind as friends, and that he might also have a proper fear of them. The king took the Admiral to dinner at the house where he was established, and the others who came with him. The Admiral strongly recommended to his friendship Diego de Arana, Pedro Gutierrez, and Rodrigo Escovedo, whom he left jointly as his lieutenants over the people who remained behind, that all might be well regulated and governed for service of their Highnesses. The cacique showed much love for the Admiral, and great sorrow at his departure, especially when he saw him go on board. A relation of that king said to the Admiral that he had ordered a statue of pure gold to be made, as big as the Admiral, and that it would be brought within ten days. The Admiral embarked with the intention of sailing presently, but there was no wind.
He left on that island of Espanola, which the Indians called Bohio, 39 men[210-1] with the fortress, and he says that they were great friends of Guacanagari. The lieutenants placed over them were Diego de Arana of Cordova, Pedro Gutierrez, keeper of the king's drawing-room, and servant of the chief butler, and Rodrigo de Escovedo, a native of Segovia, nephew of Fray Rodrigo Perez, with all the powers he himself received from the Sovereigns. He left behind all the merchandise which had been provided for bartering, which was much, that they might trade for gold. He also left the ship's boat, that they, most of them being sailors, might go, when the time seemed convenient, to discover the gold mine, in order that the Admiral, on his return, might find much gold. They were also to find a good site for a town, for this was not altogether a desirable port; especially as the gold the natives brought came from the east; also, the farther to the east the nearer to Spain. He also left seeds for sowing, and his officers, the alguazil and secretary, as well as a ship's carpenter, a caulker, a good gunner familiar with engineering (que sabe bien de ingenios), a cooper, a physician, and a tailor, all being seamen as well.[210-2]
Thursday, 3rd of January
The Admiral did not go to-day, because three of the Indians whom he had brought from the islands, and who had staid behind, arrived, and said that the others with their women would be there at sunrise.[211-1] The sea also was rather rough, so that they could not land from the boat. He determined to depart to-morrow, with the grace of God. The Admiral said that if he had the caravel Pinta with him he could make sure of shipping a tun of gold, because he could then follow the coasts of these islands, which he would not do alone, for fear some accident might impede his return to Castile, and prevent him from reporting all he had discovered to the Sovereigns. If it was certain that the caravel Pinta would arrive safely in Spain with Martin Alonso Pinzon, he would not hesitate to act as he desired; but as he had no certain tidings of him, and as he might return and tell lies to the Sovereigns, that he might not receive the punishment he deserved for having done so much harm in having parted company without permission, and impeded the good service that might have been done, the Admiral could only trust in our Lord that he would grant favorable weather, and remedy all things.
Friday, 4th of January
At sunrise the Admiral weighed the anchor, with little wind, and turned her head N.W. to get clear of the reef, by another channel wider than the one by which he entered, which, with others, is very good for coming in front of the Villa de la Navidad, in all which the least depth is from 3 to 9 fathoms. These two channels run N.W. and S.E., and the reefs are long, extending from the Cabo Santo to the Cabo de Sierpe for more than six leagues, and then a good three leagues out to sea. At a league outside Cabo Santo there are not more than 8 fathoms of depth, and inside that cape, on the east side, there are many sunken rocks, and channels to enter between them. All this coast trends N.W. and S.E., and it is all beach, with the land very level for about a quarter of a league inland. After that distance there are very high mountains, and the whole is peopled with a very good race, as they showed themselves to the Christians. Thus the Admiral navigated to the east, shaping a course for a very high mountain, which looked like an island, but is not one, being joined to the mainland by a very low neck. The mountain has the shape of a very beautiful tent. He gave it the name of Monte Cristi. It is due east of Cabo Santo, at a distance of 18 leagues.[212-1] That day, owing to the light wind, they could not reach within six leagues of Monte Cristi. He discovered four very low and sandy islets,[212-2] with a reef extending N.W. and S.E. Inside, there is a large gulf,[212-3] which extends from this mountain to the S.E. at least twenty leagues,[212-4] which must all be shallow, with many sandbanks, and inside numerous rivers which are not navigable. At the same time the sailor who was sent in the canoe to get tidings of the Pinta reported that he saw a river[212-5] into which ships might enter. The Admiral anchored at a distance of 6 leagues[212-6] from Monte Cristi, in 19 fathoms, and so kept clear of many rocks and reefs. Here he remained for the night. The Admiral gives notice to those who would go to the Villa de la Navidad that, to make Monte Cristi, he should stand off the land two leagues, etc. (But as the coast is now known it is not given here.) The Admiral concluded that Cipango was in that island, and that it contained much gold, spices, mastic, and rhubarb.
Saturday, 5th of January
At sunrise the Admiral made sail with the land-breeze, and saw that to the S.S.E.[212-7] of Monte Cristi, between it and an island, there seemed to be a good port to anchor in that night. He shaped an E.S.E. course, afterward S.S.E., for six leagues round the high land, and found a depth of 17 fathoms, with a very clean bottom, going on for three leagues with the same soundings. Afterwards it shallowed to 12 fathoms up to the promontory of the mountain, and off the promontory, at one league, the depth of 9 fathoms was found, the bottom clean, and all fine sand. The Admiral followed the same course until he came between the mountain and the island,[213-1] where he found 3-1/2 fathoms at low water, a very good port, and here he anchored.[213-2] He went in the boat to the islet, where he found remains of fire and footmarks, showing that fishermen had been there. Here they saw many stones painted in colors, or a quarry of such stones, very beautifully worked by nature, suited for the building of a church or other public work, like those he found on the island of San Salvador. On this islet he also found many plants of mastic. He says that this Monte Cristi is very fine and high, but accessible, and of a very beautiful shape, all the land round it being low, a very fine plain, from which the height rises, looking at a distance like an island disunited from other land. Beyond the mountain, to the east, he saw a cape at a distance of 24 miles, which he named Cabo del Becerro,[213-3] whence to the mountain for two leagues there are reefs of rocks, though it appeared as if there were navigable channels between them. It would, however, be advisable to approach in daylight, and to send a boat ahead to sound. From the mountain eastward to Cabo del Becerro, for four leagues, there is a beach, and the land is low, but the rest is very high, with beautiful mountains and some cultivation. Inland, a chain of mountains runs N.E. and S.W., the most beautiful he had seen, appearing like the hills of Cordova. Some other very lofty mountains appear in the distance toward the south and S.E., and very extensive green valleys with large rivers: all this in such quantity that he did not believe he had exaggerated a thousandth part. Afterwards he saw, to the eastward of the mountain, a land which appeared like that of Monte Cristi in size and beauty. Further to the east and N.E. there is land which is not so high, extending for some hundred miles or near it.
Sunday, 6th of January
That port is sheltered from all winds, except north and N.W., and these winds seldom blow in this region. Even when the wind is from those quarters, shelter may be found near the islet in 3 or 4 fathoms. At sunrise the Admiral made sail to proceed along the coast, the course being east, except that it is necessary to look out for several reefs of stone and sand, within which there are good anchorages, with channels leading to them. After noon it blew fresh from the east. The Admiral ordered a sailor to go to the mast-head to look out for reefs, and he saw the caravel Pinta coming, with the wind aft, and she joined the Admiral.[214-1] As there was no place to anchor, owing to the rocky bottom, the Admiral returned for ten leagues to Monte Cristi, with the Pinta in company. Martin Alonso Pinzon came on board the caravel Nina, where the Admiral was, and excused himself by saying that he had parted company against his will, giving reasons for it. But the Admiral says that they were all false; and that on the night when Pinzon parted company he was influenced by pride and covetousness. He could not understand whence had come the insolence and disloyalty with which Pinzon had treated him during the voyage. The Admiral had taken no notice, because he did not wish to give place to the evil works of Satan, who desired to impede the voyage. It appeared that one of the Indians, who had been put on board the caravel by the Admiral with others, had said that there was much gold in an island called Baneque, and, as Pinzon's vessel was light and swift, he determined to go there, parting company with the Admiral, who wished to remain and explore the coasts of Juana and Espanola, with an easterly course. When Martin Alonso arrived at the island of Baneque[215-1] he found no gold. He then went to the coast of Espanola, on information from the Indians that there was a great quantity of gold and many mines in that island of Espanola, which the Indians call Bohio. He thus arrived near the Villa de Navidad, about 15 leagues from it, having then been absent more than twenty days, so that the news brought by the Indians was correct, on account of which the King Guacanagari sent a canoe, and the Admiral put a sailor on board; but the Pinta must have gone before the canoe arrived. The Admiral says that the Pinta obtained much gold by barter, receiving large pieces the size of two fingers in exchange for a needle. Martin Alonso took half, dividing the other half among the crew. The Admiral then says: "Thus I am convinced that our Lord miraculously caused that vessel to remain here, this being the best place in the whole island to form a settlement, and the nearest to the gold mines." He also says that he knew of another great island, to the south of the island of Juana, in which there is more gold than in this island, so that they collect it in bits the size of beans, while in Espanola they find the pieces the size of grains of wheat. They call that island Yamaye.[215-2] The Admiral also heard of an island further east, in which there were only women, having been told this by many people.[215-3] He was also informed that Yamaye and the island of Espanola were ten days' journey in a canoe from the mainland, which would be about 70 or 80 leagues, and that there the people wore clothes.[215-4]
Monday, 7th of January
This day the Admiral took the opportunity of calking the caravel, and the sailors were sent to cut wood. They found mastic and aloes in abundance.
Tuesday, 8th of January
As the wind was blowing fresh from the east and S.E., the Admiral did not get under way this morning. He ordered the caravel to be filled up with wood and water and with all other necessaries for the voyage. He wished to explore all the coast of Espanola in this direction. But those he appointed to the caravels as captains were brothers, namely, Martin Alonso Pinzon and Vicente Anes. They also had followers who were filled with pride and avarice, considering that all now belonged to them, and unmindful of the honor the Admiral had done them. They had not and did not obey his orders, but did and said many unworthy things against him; while Martin Alonso had deserted him from the 21st of November until the 6th of January without cause or reason, but from disaffection. All these things had been endured in silence by the Admiral in order to secure a good end to the voyage. He determined to return as quickly as possible, to get rid of such an evil company, with whom he thought it necessary to dissimulate, although they were a mutinous set, and though he also had with him many good men; for it was not a fitting time for dealing out punishment.
The Admiral got into the boat and went up the river[216-1] which is near, toward the S.S.W. of Monte Cristi, a good league. This is where the sailors went to get fresh water for the ships. He found that the sand at the mouth of the river, which is very large and deep, was full of very fine gold, and in astonishing quantity. The Admiral thought that it was pulverized in the drift down the river, but in a short time he found many grains as large as lentils, while there was a great deal of the fine powder.
As the fresh water mixed with the salt when it entered the sea, he ordered the boat to go up for the distance of a stone's-throw. They filled the casks from the boat, and when they went back to the caravel they found small bits of gold sticking to the hoops of the casks and of the barrel. The Admiral gave the name of Rio del Oro to the river.[217-1] Inside the bar it is very deep, though the mouth is shallow and very wide. The distance to the Villa de la Navidad is 17 leagues,[217-2] and there are several large rivers on the intervening coast, especially three which probably contain much more gold than this one, because they are larger. This river is nearly the size of the Guadalquivir at Cordova, and from it to the gold mines the distance is not more than 20 leagues.[217-3] The Admiral further says that he did not care to take the sand containing gold, because their Highnesses would have it all as their property at their town of Navidad; and because his first object was now to bring the news and to get rid of the evil company that was with him, whom he had always said were a mutinous set.
Wednesday, 9th of January
The Admiral made sail at midnight, with the wind S.E., and shaped an E.N.E. course, arriving at a point named Punta Roja,[217-4] which is 60 miles[217-5] east of Monte Cristi, and anchored under its lee three hours before nightfall. He did not venture to go out at night, because there are many reefs, until they are known. Afterwards, if, as will probably be the case, channels are found between them, the anchorage, which is good and well sheltered, will be profitable. The country between Monte Cristi and this point where the Admiral anchored is very high land, with beautiful plains, the range running east and west, all green and cultivated, with numerous streams of water, so that it is wonderful to see such beauty. In all this country there are many turtles, and the sailors took several when they came on shore to lay their eggs at Monte Cristi, as large as a great wooden buckler.
On the previous day, when the Admiral went to the Rio del Oro, he saw three mermaids,[218-1] which rose well out of the sea; but they are not so beautiful as they are painted, though to some extent they have the form of a human face. The Admiral says that he had seen some, at other times, in Guinea, on the coast of the Manequeta.[218-2]
The Admiral says that this night, in the name of our Lord, he would set out on his homeward voyage without any further delay whatever, for he had found what he sought, and he did not wish to have further cause of offence with Martin Alonso until their Highnesses should know the news of the voyage and what had been done. Afterwards he says, "I will not suffer the deeds of evil-disposed persons, with little worth, who, without respect for him to whom they owe their positions, presume to set up their own wills with little ceremony."
Thursday, 10th of January
He departed from the place where he had anchored, and at sunset he reached a river, to which he gave the name of Rio de Gracia, three leagues to the S.E. He came to at the mouth,[219-1] where there is good anchorage on the east side. There is a bar with no more than two fathoms of water, and very narrow across the entrance. It is a good and well-sheltered port, except that there are many shipworms,[219-2] owing to which the caravel Pinta, under Martin Alonso, received a good deal of damage. He had been here bartering for 16 days, and got much gold, which was what Martin Alonso wanted. As soon as he heard from the Indians that the Admiral was on the coast of the same island of Espanola, and that he could not avoid him, Pinzon came to him. He wanted all the people of the ship to swear that he had not been there more than six days. But his treachery was so public that it could not be concealed. He had made a law that half of all the gold that was collected was his. When he left this port he took four men and two girls by force. But the Admiral ordered that they should be clothed and put on shore to return to their homes. "This," the Admiral says, "is a service of your Highnesses. For all the men and women are subjects of your Highnesses, as well in this island as in the others. Here, where your Highnesses already have a settlement, the people ought to be treated with honor and favor, seeing that this island has so much gold and such good spice-yielding lands."
Friday, 11th of January
At midnight the Admiral left the Rio de Gracia with the land-breeze, and steered eastward until he came to a cape named Belprado, at a distance of four leagues. To the S.E. is the mountain to which he gave the name of Monte de Plata,[220-1] eight leagues distant. Thence from the cape Belprado to E.S.E. is the point named Angel, eighteen leagues distant; and from this point to the Monte de Plata there is a gulf, with the most beautiful lands in the world, all high and fine lands which extend far inland. Beyond there is a range of high mountains running east and west, very grand and beautiful. At the foot of this mountain there is a very good port,[220-2] with 14 fathoms in the entrance. The mountain is very high and beautiful, and all the country is well peopled. The Admiral believed there must be fine rivers and much gold. At a distance of 4 leagues E.S.E. of Cabo del Angel there is a cape named Punta del Hierro,[220-3] and on the same course, 4 more leagues, a point is reached named Punta Seca.[220-4] Thence, 6 leagues further on, is Cabo Redondo,[220-5] and further on Cabo Frances, where a large bay[220-6] is formed, but there did not appear to be anchorage in it. A league further on is Cabo del Buen Tiempo, and thence, a good league S.S.E., is Cabo Tajado.[220-7] Thence, to the south, another cape was sighted at a distance of about 15 leagues. To-day great progress was made, as wind and tide were favorable. The Admiral did not venture to anchor for fear of the rocks, so he was hove-to all night.
Saturday, 12th of January
Towards dawn the Admiral filled and shaped a course to the east with a fresh wind, running 20 miles before daylight, and in two hours afterwards 24 miles. Thence he saw land to the south,[221-1] and steered towards it, distant 48 miles. During the night he must have run 28 miles N.N.E., to keep the vessels out of danger. When he saw the land, he named one cape that he saw Cabo de Padre y Hijo, because at the east point there are two rocks, one larger than the other.[221-2] Afterwards, at two leagues to the eastward, he saw a very fine bay between two grand mountains. He saw that it was a very large port with a very good approach; but, as it was very early in the morning, and as the greater part of the time it was blowing from the east, and then they had a N.N.W. breeze, he did not wish to delay any more. He continued his course to the east as far as a very high and beautiful cape, all of scarped rock, to which he gave the name of Cabo del Enamorado,[221-3] which was 32 miles to the east of the port named Puerto Sacro.[221-4] On rounding the cape, another finer and loftier point came in sight,[221-5] like Cape St. Vincent in Portugal, 12 miles east of Cabo del Enamorado. As soon as he was abreast of the Cabo del Enamorado, the Admiral saw that there was a great bay[221-6] between this and the next point, three leagues across, and in the middle of it a small island.[221-7] The depth is great at the entrance close to the land. He anchored here in twelve fathoms, and sent the boat on shore for water, and to see if intercourse could be opened with the natives, but they all fled. He also anchored to ascertain whether this was all one land with the island of Espanola, and to make sure that this was a gulf and not a channel, forming another island. He remained astonished at the great size of Espanola.
Sunday, 13th of January
The Admiral did not leave the port, because there was no land-breeze with which to go out. He wished to shift to another better port, because this was rather exposed. He also wanted to wait, in that haven, the conjunction of the sun and moon, which would take place on the 17th of this month, and the opposition of the moon with Jupiter and conjunction with Mercury, the sun being in opposition to Jupiter, which is the cause of high winds. He sent the boat on shore to a beautiful beach to obtain yams for food. They found some men with bows and arrows, with whom they stopped to speak, buying two bows and many arrows from them. They asked one of them to come on board the caravel and see the Admiral; who says that he was very wanting in reverence, more so than any native he had yet seen.[222-1] His face was all stained with charcoal,[222-2] but in all parts there is the custom of painting the body different colors. He wore his hair very long, brought together and fastened behind, and put into a small net of parrots' feathers. He was naked, like all the others. The Admiral supposed that he belonged to the Caribs, who eat men,[222-3] and that the gulf he had seen yesterday formed this part of the land into an island by itself. The Admiral asked about the Caribs, and he pointed to the east, near at hand, which means that he saw the Admiral yesterday before he entered the bay. The Indian said there was much gold to the east, pointing to the poop of the caravel, which was a good size, meaning that there were pieces as large. He called gold tuob, and did not understand caona, as they call it in the first part of the island that was visited, nor nozay, the name in San Salvador and the other islands. Copper or a base gold is called tuob in Espanola.[223-1] Of the island of Matinino this Indian said that it was peopled by women without men,[223-2] and that in it there was much tuob, which is gold or copper, and that it is more to the east of Carib.[223-3] He also spoke of the island of Goanin,[223-4] where there was much tuob. The Admiral says that he had received notices of these islands from many persons; that in the other islands the natives were in great fear of the Caribs, called by some of them Caniba, but in Espanola Carib. He thought they must be an audacious race, for they go to all these islands and eat the people they can capture. He understood a few words, and the Indians who were on board comprehended more, there being a difference in the languages owing to the great distance between the various islands. The Admiral ordered that the Indian should be fed, and given pieces of green and red cloth, and glass beads, which they like very much, and then sent on shore. He was told to bring gold if he had any, and it was believed that he had, from some small things he brought with him. When the boat reached the shore there were fifty-five men behind the trees, naked, and with very long hair, as the women wear it in Castile. Behind the head they wore plumes of feathers of parrots and other birds, and each man carried a bow. The Indian landed, and signed to the others to put down their bows and arrows, and a piece of a staff, which is like...,[223-5] very heavy, carried instead of a sword.[224-1] As soon as they came to the boat the crew landed, and began to buy the bows and arrows and other arms, in accordance with an order of the Admiral. Having sold two bows, they did not want to give more, but began to attack the Spaniards, and to take hold of them. They were running back to pick up their bows and arrows where they had laid them aside, and took cords in their hands to bind the boat's crew. Seeing them rushing down, and being prepared—for the Admiral always warned them to be on their guard—the Spaniards attacked the Indians, and gave one a slash with a knife in the buttocks, wounding another in the breast with an arrow. Seeing that they could gain little, although the Christians were only seven and they numbered over fifty, they fled, so that none were left, throwing bows and arrows away.[224-2] The Christians would have killed many, if the pilot, who was in command, had not prevented them. The Spaniards presently returned to the caravel with the boat. The Admiral regretted the affair for one reason, and was pleased for another. They would have fear of the Christians, and they were no doubt an ill-conditioned people, probably Caribs, who eat men. But the Admiral felt alarm lest they should do some harm to the 39 men left in the fortress and town of Navidad, in the event of their coming here in their boat. Even if they are not Caribs, they are a neighboring people, with similar habits, and fearless, unlike the other inhabitants of the island, who are timid, and without arms. The Admiral says all this, and adds that he would have liked to have captured some of them. He says that they lighted many smoke signals, as is the custom in this island of Espanola.
Monday, 14th of January
This evening the Admiral wished to find the houses of the Indians and to capture some of them, believing them to be Caribs. For, owing to the strong east and north-east winds and the heavy sea, he had remained during the day. Many Indians were seen on shore. The Admiral, therefore, ordered the boat to be sent on shore, with the crew well armed. Presently the Indians came to the stern of the boat, including the man who had been on board the day before, and had received presents from the Admiral. With him there came a king, who had given to the said Indian some beads in token of safety and peace for the boat's crew. This king, with three of his followers, went on board the boat and came to the caravel. The Admiral ordered them to be given biscuit and treacle to eat, and gave the chief a red cap, some beads, and a piece of red cloth. The others were also given pieces of cloth. The chief said that next day he would bring a mask made of gold, affirming that there was much here, and in Carib[225-1] and Matinino.[225-2] They afterwards went on shore well satisfied.
The Admiral here says that the caravels were making much water, which entered by the keel; and he complains of the caulkers at Palos, who caulked the vessels very badly, and ran away when they saw that the Admiral had detected the badness of their work, and intended to oblige them to repair the defect. But, notwithstanding that the caravels were making much water, he trusted in the favor and mercy of our Lord, for his high Majesty well knew how much controversy there was before the expedition could be despatched from Castile, that no one was in the Admiral's favor save Him alone who knew his heart, and after God came your Highnesses, while all others were against him without any reason. He further says: "And this has been the cause that the royal crown of your Highnesses has not a hundred millions of revenue more than after I entered your service, which is seven years ago in this very month, the 20th of January.[226-1] The increase will take place from now onwards. For the almighty God will remedy all things,"[226-2] These are his words.
Tuesday, 15th of January
The Admiral now wished to depart, for there was nothing to be gained by further delay, after these occurrences and the tumult with the Indians. To-day he had heard that all the gold was in the district of the town of Navidad, belonging to their Highnesses; and that in the island of Carib[226-3] there was much copper, as well as in Matinino. The intercourse at Carib would, however, be difficult, because the natives are said to eat human flesh. Their island would be in sight from thence, and the Admiral determined to go there, as it was on the route, and thence to Matinino, which was said to be entirely peopled by women, without men.[226-4] He would thus see both islands, and might take some of the natives. The Admiral sent the boat on shore, but the king of that district had not come, for his village was distant. He, however, sent his crown of gold, as he had promised; and many other natives came with cotton, and bread made from yams, all with their bows and arrows. After the bartering was finished, four youths came to the caravel. They appeared to the Admiral to give such a clear account of the islands to the eastward, on the same route as the Admiral would have to take, that he determined to take them to Castile with him. He says that they had no iron nor other metals; at least none was seen, but it was impossible to know much of the land in so short a time, owing to the difficulty with the language, which the Admiral could not understand except by guessing, nor could they know what was said to them, in such a few days. The bows of these people are as large as those of France or England. The arrows are similar to the darts of the natives who have been met with previously, which are made of young canes, which grow very straight, and a yard and a half or two yards in length. They point them with a piece of sharp wood, a span and a half long, and at the end some of them fix a fish's tooth, but most of them anoint it with an herb.[227-1] They do not shoot as in other parts, but in a certain way which cannot do much harm. Here they have a great deal of fine and long cotton, and plenty of mastic. The bows appeared to be of yew, and there is gold and copper. There is also plenty of aji,[227-2] which is their pepper, which is more valuable than pepper, and all the people eat nothing else, it being very wholesome. Fifty caravels might be annually loaded with it from Espanola. The Admiral says that he found a great deal of weed in this bay, the same as was met with at sea when he came on this discovery. He therefore supposed that there were islands to the eastward, in the direction of the position where he began to meet with it; for he considers it certain that this weed has its origin in shallow water near the land, and, if this is the case, these Indies must be very near the Canary Islands. For this reason he thought the distance must be less than 400 leagues.
Wednesday, 16th of January
They got under way three hours before daylight, and left the gulf, which was named Golfo de las Flechas,[228-1] with the land-breeze. Afterwards there was a west wind, which was fair to go to the island of Carib on an E.N.E. course. This was where the people live of whom all the natives of the other islands are so frightened, because they roam over the sea in canoes without number, and eat the men they can capture. The Admiral steered the course indicated by one of the four Indians he took yesterday in the Puerto de las Flechas. After having sailed about 64 miles, the Indians made signs that the island was to the S.E.[228-2] The Admiral ordered the sails to be trimmed for that course, but, after having proceeded on it for two leagues, the wind freshened from a quarter which was very favorable for the voyage to Spain. The Admiral had noticed that the crew were downhearted when he deviated from the direct route home, reflecting that both caravels were leaking badly, and that there was no help but in God. He therefore gave up the course leading to the islands, and shaped a direct course for Spain E.N.E. He sailed on this course, making 48 miles, which is 12 leagues, by sunset. The Indians said that by that route they would fall in with the island of Matinino, peopled entirely by women without men, and the Admiral wanted very much to take five or six of them to the Sovereigns. But he doubted whether the Indians understood the route well, and he could not afford to delay, by reason of the leaky condition of the caravels. He, however, believed the story and that, at certain seasons, men came to them from the island of Carib, distant ten or twelve leagues. If males were born, they were sent to the island of the men; and if females, they remained with their mothers.[229-1] The Admiral says that these two islands cannot have been more than 15 or 20 leagues to the S.E. from where he altered course, the Indians not understanding how to point out the direction. After losing sight of the cape, which was named San Theramo,[229-2] which was left 16 leagues to the west, they went for 12 leagues E.N.E. The weather was very fine.
Thursday, 17th of January
The wind went down at sunset yesterday, the caravels having sailed 14 glasses, each a little less than half-an-hour, at 4 miles an hour, making 28 miles. Afterwards the wind freshened, and they ran all that watch, which was 10 glasses. Then another six until sunrise at 8 miles an hour, thus making altogether 84 miles, equal to 21 leagues, to the E.N.E., and until sunset 44 miles, or 11 leagues, to the east. Here a booby[229-3] came to the caravel, and afterwards another. The Admiral saw a great deal of gulf-weed.
Friday, 18th of January
During the night they steered E.S.E., with little wind, for 40 miles, equal to 10 leagues, and then 30 miles, or 7-1/2 leagues, until sunrise. All day they proceeded with little wind to E.N.E. and N.E. by E., more or less, her head being sometimes north and at others N.N.E., and, counting one with the other they made 60 miles, or 15 leagues. There was little weed, but yesterday and to-day the sea appeared to be full of tunnies. The Admiral believed that from there they must go to the tunny-fisheries of the Duke, of Conil and Cadiz.[230-1] He also thought they were near some islands, because a frigate-bird[230-2] flew round the caravel, and afterwards went away to the S.S.E. He said that to the S.E. of the island of Espanola were the islands of Carib, Matinino, and many others.
Saturday, 19th of January
During the night they made good 56 miles N.N.E., and 64 N.E. by N. After sunrise they steered N.E. with the wind fresh from S.W., and afterwards W.S.W. 84 miles, equal to 21 leagues. The sea was again full of small tunnies. There were boobies, frigate-birds, and terns.[230-3]
Sunday, 20th of January
It was calm during the night, with occasional slants of wind, and they only made 20 miles to the N.E. After sunrise they went 11 miles S.E., and then 36 miles N.N.E., equal to 9 leagues. They saw an immense quantity of small tunnies, the air very soft and pleasant, like Seville in April or May, and the sea, for which God be given many thanks, always very smooth. Frigate-birds, sandpipers,[231-1] and other birds were seen.
Monday, 21st of January
Yesterday, before sunset, they steered N.E. b. E., with the wind east, at the rate of 8 miles an hour until midnight, equal to 56 miles. Afterwards they steered N.N.E. 8 miles an hour, so that they made 104 miles, or 26 leagues, during the night N.E. by N. After sunrise they steered N.N.E. with the same wind, which at times veered to N.E., and they made good 88 miles in the eleven hours of daylight, or 21 leagues: except one that was lost by delay caused by closing with the Pinta to communicate. The air was colder, and it seemed to get colder as they went further north, and also that the nights grew longer owing to the narrowing of the sphere. Many boatswain-birds and terns[231-2] were seen, as well as other birds but not so many fish, perhaps owing to the water being colder. Much weed was seen.
Tuesday, 22nd of January
Yesterday, after sunset, they steered N.N.E. with an east wind. They made 8 miles an hour during five glasses, and three before the watch began, making eight glasses, equal to 72 miles, or 18 leagues. Afterwards they went N.E. by N. for six glasses, which would be another 18 miles. Then, during four glasses of the second watch N.E. at six miles an hour, or three leagues. From that time to sunset, for eleven glasses, E.N.E. at 6 leagues an hour,[231-3] equal to seven leagues. Then E.N.E. until 11 o'clock, 32 miles. Then the wind fell, and they made no more during that day. The Indians swam about. They saw boatswain-birds and much weed.
Wednesday, 23rd of January
To-night the wind was very changeable, but, making the allowances applied by good sailors, they made 84 miles or 21 leagues, N.E. by N. Many times the caravel Nina had to wait for the Pinta, because she sailed badly when on a bowline the mizzen being of little use owing to the weakness of the mast. He says that if her captain, that is, Martin Alonso Pinzon, had taken the precaution to provide her with a good mast in the Indies, where there are so many and such excellent spars, instead of deserting his commander from motives of avarice, he would have done better. They saw many boatswain-birds and much weed. The heavens have been clouded over during these last days, but there has been no rain. The sea has been as smooth as a river, for which many thanks be given to God. After sunrise they went free, and made 30 miles, or 7-1/2 leagues N.E. During the rest of the day E.N.E. another 30 miles.
Thursday, 24th of January
They made 44 miles, or 11 leagues, during the night, allowing for many changes in the wind, which was generally N.E. After sunrise until sunset E.N.E. 14 leagues.
Friday, 25th of January
They steered during part of the night E.N.E. for 13 glasses, making 9-1/2 leagues. Then N.N.E. 6 miles. The wind fell, and during the day they only made 28 miles E.N.E., or 7 leagues. The sailors killed a tunny and a very large shark, which was very welcome, as they now had nothing but bread and wine, and some yams from the Indies.
Saturday, 26th of January
This night they made 56 miles, or 14 leagues, E.S.E. After sunrise they steered E.S.E., and sometimes S.E., making 40 miles up to 11 o'clock. Afterwards they went on another tack, and then on a bowline, 24 miles, or 6 leagues, to the north, until night.
Sunday, 27th of January
Yesterday, after sunset, they steered N.E. and N.E. by N. at the rate of five miles an hour, which in thirteen hours would be 65 miles, or 16-1/2 leagues. After sunrise they steered N.E. 24 miles, or 6 leagues, until noon, and from that time until sunset 3 leagues E.N.E.
Monday, 28th of January
All night they steered E.N.E. 36 miles, or 9 leagues. After sunrise until sunset E.N.E. 20 miles, or 5 leagues. The weather was temperate and pleasant. They saw boatswain-birds, sandpipers,[233-1] and much weed.
Tuesday, 29th of January
They steered E.N.E. 39 miles, or 9-1/2 leagues, and during the whole day 8 leagues. The air was very pleasant, like April in Castile, the sea smooth, and fish they call dorados[233-2] came on board.
Wednesday, 30th of January
All this night they made 6 leagues E.N.E., and in the day S.E. by S. 13-1/2 leagues. Boatswain-birds, much weed, and many tunnies.
Thursday, 31st of January
This night they steered N.E. by N. 30 miles, and afterwards N.E. 35 miles, or 16 leagues. From sunrise to night E.N.E. 13-1/2 leagues. They saw boatswain-birds and terns.
Friday, 1st of February
They made 16-1/2 leagues E.N.E. during the night, and went on the same course during the day 29-1/4 leagues. The sea very smooth, thanks be to God.
Saturday, 2nd of February
They made 40 miles, or 10 leagues, E.N.E. this night. In the daytime, with the same wind aft, they went 7 miles an hour, so that in eleven hours they had gone 77 miles, or 9-1/4 leagues. The sea was very smooth, thanks be to God, and the air very soft. They saw the sea so covered with weed that, if they had not known about it before, they would have been fearful of sunken rocks. They saw terns.[234-1]
Sunday, 3rd of February
This night, the wind being aft and the sea very smooth, thanks be to God, they made 29 leagues. The North Star appeared very high, as it does off Cape St. Vincent. The Admiral was unable to take the altitude, either with the astrolabe or with the quadrant, because the rolling caused by the waves prevented it. That day he steered his course E.N.E., going 10 miles an hour, so that in eleven hours he made 27 leagues.
Monday, 4th of February
During the night the course was N.E. by E., going twelve miles an hour part of the time, and the rest ten miles. Thus they made 130 miles, or 32 leagues and a half. The sky was very threatening and rainy, and it was rather cold, by which they knew that they had not yet reached the Azores. After sunrise the course was altered to east. During the whole day they made 77 miles, or 19-1/4 leagues.
Tuesday, 5th of February
This night they steered east, and made 55 miles, or 13-1/2 leagues. In the day they were going ten miles an hour, and in eleven hours made 110 miles, or 27-1/2 leagues. They saw sandpipers, and some small sticks, a sign that they were near land.
Wednesday, 6th of February
They steered east during the night, going at the rate of eleven miles an hour, so that in the thirteen hours of the night they made 143 miles, or 35-1/4 leagues. They saw many birds. In the day they went 14 miles an hour, and made 154 miles, or 38-1/2 leagues; so that, including night and day, they made 74 leagues, more or less. Vicente Anes[235-1] said that they had left the island of Flores to the north and Madeira to the east. Roldan[235-2] said that the island of Fayal, or San Gregorio, was to the N.N.E. and Puerto Santo to east. There was much weed.
Thursday, 7th of February
This night they steered east, going ten miles an hour, so that in thirteen hours they made 130 miles, or 32-1/2 leagues. In the daytime the rate was eight miles an hour, in eleven hours 88 miles, or 22 leagues. This morning the Admiral found himself 65 leagues south of the island of Flores, and the pilot Pedro Alonso,[236-1] being further north, according to his reckoning, passed between Terceira and Santa Maria to the east, passing to windward of the island of Madeira, twelve leagues further north. The sailors saw a new kind of weed, of which there is plenty in the islands of the Azores.
Friday, 8th of February
They went three miles an hour to the eastward for some time during the night, and afterwards E.S.E., going twelve miles an hour. From sunrise to noon they made 27 miles, and the same distance from noon till sunset, equal to 13 leagues S.S.E.
Saturday, 9th of February
For part of this night they went 3 leagues S.S.E., and afterwards S. by E., then N.E. 5 leagues until ten o'clock in the forenoon, then 9 leagues east until dark.
Sunday, 10th of February
From sunset they steered east all night, making 130 miles, or 32-1/2 leagues. During the day they went at the rate of nine miles an hour, making 99 miles, or 24-1/2 leagues, in eleven hours.
In the caravel of the Admiral, Vicente Yanez and the two pilots, Sancho Ruiz and Pedro Alonso Nino, and Roldan, charted or plotted the route. They all made the position a good deal beyond the islands of the Azores to the east, and, navigating to the north, none of them touched Santa Maria, which is the last of all the Azores. They made the position five leagues beyond it, and were in the vicinity of the islands of Madeira and Puerto Santo. But the Admiral was very different from them in his reckoning, finding the position very much in rear of theirs. This night he found the island of Flores to the north, and to the east he made the direction to be towards Nafe in Africa, passing to leeward of the island of Madeira to the north ... leagues.[237-1] So that the pilots were nearer to Castile than the Admiral by 150 leagues. The Admiral says that, with the grace of God, when they reach the land they will find out whose reckoning was most correct. He also says that he went 263 leagues from the island of Hierro to the place where he first saw the gulf-weed.
Monday, 11th of February
This night they went twelve miles an hour on their course, and during the day they ran 16-1/2 leagues. They saw many birds, from which they judged that land was near.
Tuesday, 12th of February
They went six miles an hour on an east course during the night, altogether 73 miles, or 18-1/4 leagues. At this time they began to encounter bad weather with a heavy sea; and, if the caravel had not been very well managed, she must have been lost. During the day they made 11 or 12 leagues with much difficulty and danger.
Wednesday, 13th of February
From sunset until daylight there was great trouble with the wind, and the high and tempestuous sea. There was lightning three times to the N.N.E.—a sign of a great storm coming either from that quarter or its opposite. They were lying-to most of the night, afterwards showing a little sail, and made 52 miles, which is 13 leagues. In the day the wind moderated a little, but it soon increased again. The sea was terrific, the waves crossing each other, and straining the vessels. They made 55 miles more, equal to 13-1/2 leagues.
Thursday, 14th of February
This night the wind increased, and the waves were terrible, rising against each other, and so shaking and straining the vessel that she could make no headway, and was in danger of being stove in. They carried the mainsail very closely reefed, so as just to give her steerage-way, and proceeded thus for three hours, making 20 miles. Meanwhile, the wind and sea increased, and, seeing the great danger, the Admiral began to run before it, there being nothing else to be done. The caravel Pinta began to run before the wind at the same time, and Martin Alonso ran her out of sight,[238-1] although the Admiral kept showing lanterns all night, and the other answered. It would seem that she could do no more, owing to the force of the tempest, and she was taken far from the route of the Admiral. He steered that night E.N.E., and made 54 miles, equal to 13 leagues. At sunrise the wind blew still harder, and the cross sea was terrific. They continued to show the closely-reefed mainsail, to enable her to rise from between the waves, or she would otherwise have been swamped. An E.N.E. course was steered, and afterwards N.E. by E. for six hours, making 7-1/2 leagues. The Admiral ordered that a pilgrimage should be made to Our Lady of Guadalupe,[239-1] carrying a candle of 6 lbs. of weight in wax, and that all the crew should take an oath that the pilgrimage should be made by the man on whom the lot fell. As many chick-peas were got as there were persons on board, and on one a cross was cut with a knife. They were then put into a cap and shaken up. The first who put in his hand was the Admiral, and he drew out the chick-pea with a cross, so the lot fell on him; and he was bound to go on the pilgrimage and fulfil the vow. Another lot was drawn, to go on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Loreto, which is in the march of Ancona, in the Papal territory, a house where Our Lady works many and great miracles.[239-2] The lot fell on a sailor of the port of Santa Maria, named Pedro de Villa, and the Admiral promised to pay his travelling expenses. Another pilgrimage was agreed upon, to watch for one night in Santa Clara at Moguer,[239-3] and have a mass said, for which they again used the chick-peas, including the one with a cross. The lot again fell on the Admiral. After this the Admiral and all the crew made a vow that, on arriving at the first land, they would all go in procession, in their shirts, to say their prayers in a church dedicated to Our Lady.
Besides these general vows made in common, each sailor made a special vow; for no one expected to escape, holding themselves for lost, owing to the fearful weather from which they were suffering. The want of ballast increased the danger of the ship, which had become light, owing to the consumption of the provisions and water. On account of the favorable weather enjoyed among the islands, the Admiral had omitted to make provision for this need, thinking that ballast might be taken on board at the island inhabited by women, which he had intended to visit. The only thing to do was to fill the barrels that had contained wine or fresh water with water from the sea, and this supplied a remedy.
Here the Admiral writes of the causes which made him fear that he would perish, and of others that gave him hope that God would work his salvation, in order that such news as he was bringing to the Sovereigns might not be lost. It seemed to him that the strong desire he felt to bring such great news, and to show that all he had said and offered to discover had turned out true, suggested the fear that he would not be able to do so, and that each stinging insect would be able to thwart and impede the work. He attributes this fear to his little faith, and to his want of confidence in Divine Providence.
He was comforted, on the other hand, by the mercies of God in having vouchsafed him such a victory, in the discoveries he had made, and in that God had complied with all his desires in Castile, after much adversity and many misfortunes. As he had before put all his trust in God, who had heard him and granted all he sought, he ought now to believe that God would permit the completion of what had been begun, and ordain that he should be saved. Especially as he had freed him on the voyage out, when he had still greater reason to fear, from the trouble caused by the sailors and people of his company, who all with one voice declared their intention to return, and protested that they would rise against him.[240-1] But the eternal God gave him force and valor to withstand them all, and in many other marvellous ways had God shown his will in this voyage besides those known to their Highnesses. Thus he ought not to fear the present tempest, though his weakness and anxiety prevent him from giving tranquillity to his mind. He says further that it gave him great sorrow to think of the two sons he left at their studies in Cordova, who would be left orphans, without father or mother,[241-1] in a strange land; while the Sovereigns would not know of the services he had performed in this voyage, nor would they receive the prosperous news which would move them to help the orphans. To remedy this, and that their Highnesses might know how our Lord had granted a victory in all that could be desired respecting the Indies,[241-2] and that they might understand that there were no storms in those parts, which may be known by the herbs and trees which grow even within the sea;[241-3] also that the Sovereigns might still have information, even if he perished in the storm, he took a parchment and wrote on it as good an account as he could of all he had discovered, entreating any one who might pick it up to deliver it to the Sovereigns. He rolled this parchment up in waxed cloth, fastened it very securely, ordered a large wooden barrel to be brought, and put it inside, so that no one else knew what it was. They thought that it was some act of devotion, and so he ordered the barrel to be thrown into the sea. Afterwards, in the showers and squalls, the wind veered to the west, and they went before it, only with the foresail, in a very confused sea, for five hours. They made 2-1/2 leagues N.E. They had taken in the reefed mainsail, for fear some wave of the sea should carry all away.[241-4]
Friday, 15th of February
Last night, after sunset, the sky began to clear toward the west, showing that the wind was inclined to come from that quarter. The admiral added the bonnet[243-1] to the mainsail. The sea was still very high, although it had gone down slightly. They steered E.N.E., and went four miles an hour, which made 13 leagues during the eleven hours of the night. After sunrise they sighted land. It appeared from the bows to bear E.N.E. Some said it was the island of Madeira, others that it was the rock of Cintra, in Portugal, near Lisbon. Presently the wind headed to E.N.E., and a heavy sea came from the west, the caravel being 5 leagues from the land. The Admiral found by his reckoning that he was close to the Azores, and believed that this was one of them. The pilots and sailors thought it was the land of Castile.[243-2]
Saturday, 16th of February
All that night the Admiral was standing off and on to keep clear of the land, which they now knew to be an island, sometimes standing N.E., at others N.N.E., until sunrise, when they tacked to the south to reach the island, which was now concealed by a great mist. Another island was in sight from the poop, at a distance of eight leagues. Afterwards, from sunrise until dark, they were tacking to reach the land against a strong wind and head-sea. At the time of repeating the Salve, which is just before dark, some of the men saw a light to leeward, and it seemed that it must be on the island they first saw yesterday. All night they were beating to windward, and going as near as they could, so as to see some way to the island at sunrise. That night the Admiral got a little rest, for he had not slept nor been able to sleep since Wednesday, and he had lost the use of his legs from long exposure to the wet and cold. At sunrise[244-1] he steered S.S.W., and reached the island at night, but could not make out what island it was, owing to the thick weather.