There is some very exciting news off of the coast of Haiti where archeologists believe that they have located the sunken wreck of the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus. American expedition leader Barry Clifford announced that they believe that it is in fact the ship that has been missing for five centuries.
The Santa María is believed to be a medium sized nau (carrack) that was about 58 ft long on deck and about 100 tons. It was larger than the smaller caravel-type ships Santa Clara, known as La Niña (“The Girl”), and La Pinta (“The Painted”).
In 2003, the team made discoveries that led them to this site. The location matches the diary entry of Columbus and the local currents fit perfectly with the description of how the ship drifted before sinking. Not only is the ship wreck the right size but they have a probable early cannon of exactly the type known to have been on-board the Santa Maria.
The Santa Maria is Basque built and sailed from southern Spain’s Atlantic coast via the Canary Islands in search of a new western route to Asia. Some 37 days later, it reached the Bahamas but ten weeks later got into trouble when it drifted onto a reef off the northern coast. Columbus was on board at the time. Columbus later built a fort in a nearby village and left many of his men in the fort. He then took the two remaining ships back to Spain to report that he found a western route to Asia.
The investigation into the wreck is being supported by the American TV network, the History Channel, which has secured the exclusive rights to produce a major television show on the expedition. That is a significant improvement from the awful programs that the History Channel has been promoting lately in a blind race for rating.
In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.
A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.
Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.
Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.
Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.
October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!
“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.
But “India” the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.
The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.
Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he’d been told.
He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.
The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.