"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."
More than 500 years ago, Christopher Columbus made his first expedition to North America with three ships, Santa Maria, Pinta and Santa Clara. Around Christmas in 1492, Columbus and his crew encountered a storm and had to abandon the Santa Maria after it hit reefs and began to sink.
The location of the ship was unknown, and has since been missing, until undersea explorer and archaeologist Barry Clifford announced the possible discovery of the ship in waters off of Haiti's coast. If true, this could quickly turn out to be the most important underwater discovery ever. Clifford was able to combine information from Christopher Columbus’ diary and data from discoveries made by other archaeologists looking for the ship to chart where the ship might possibly be.
|Possible Santa Maria remains (source: Brandon Clifford)|
“The Haitian government has been extremely helpful – and we now need to continue working with them to carry out a detailed archaeological excavation of the wreck,” Clifford told the Independent.
Clifford is the author of numerous excavation books, the star of several documentaries, and is best known for discovering the remains of the wrecked ship Whydah in 1984.
Read more about Columbus' many journeys, life in Spain, ship adventures, and the discovery of America and other lands in Cosimo's titles:
- Life of Columbus by Arthur Helps
- Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus by Washington Irving
- The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus by Washington Irving (available as two separate or volumes or one combined set)