You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Tomorrow morning before we depart, I intend to land and see what can be found in the neighborhood.
These people are very unskilled in arms... with 50 men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished.
There are trees of a thousand sorts, and all have their several fruits; and I feel the most unhappy man in the world not to know them, for I am well assured that they are all valuable. I bring home specimens of them, and also of the land.
Their houses are all built in the shape of tents, with very high chimneys.
The sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home.
The Indians on board said that thence to Cuba was a voyage in their canoes of a day and a half; these being small dug-outs without a sail. Such are their canoes. I departed thence for Cuba, for by the signs the Indians made of its greatness, and of its gold and pearls, I thought that it must be Cipango.
The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.
Stood off and on during the night, determining not to come to anchor till morning, fearing to meet with shoals; continued our course in the morning; and as the island was found to be six or seven leagues distant, and the tide was against us, it was noon when we arrived there.
Sailed this day nineteen leagues, and determined to count less than the true number, that the crew might not be dismayed if the voyage should prove long.
Riches don't make a man rich, they only make him busier.
No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.
My desire was not to pass any island without taking possession, so that, one having been taken, the same may be said of all.
I saw a boy of the crew purchasing javelins of them with bits of platters and broken glass.
I propose to construct a new chart for navigating, on which I shall delineate all the sea and lands of the Ocean in their proper positions under their bearings; and further, I propose to prepare a book, and to put down all as it were in a picture, by latitude from the equator, and western longitude.
I ordered each man to be presented with something, as strings of ten or a dozen glass beads apiece, and thongs of leather, all which they estimated highly; those which came on board I directed should be fed with molasses.
I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown.
I found that part of it towards San Salvador extending from north to south five leagues, and the other side which we coasted along, ran from east to west more than ten leagues.
I believe that there are many herbs and many trees that are worth much in Europe for dyes and for medicines; but I do not know, and this causes me great sorrow. Arriving at this cape, I found the smell of the trees and flowers so delicious that it seemed the pleasantest thing in the world.
I am not solicitous to examine particularly everything here, which indeed could not be done in fifty years, because my desire is to make all possible discoveries, and return to your Highnesses, if it please our Lord, in April.
I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous Presence.