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course he wished to steer, the natives signified that it would be easier to sail round this island by running to the N. W. with a fair wind. He therefore bore up to the N. W., and having run two leagues found a marvellous port, with a narrow entrance, or rather with two entrances, for there was an island which shut it in completely, forming a noble basin within. Sailing out of this harbor by the opposite entrance at the N. W., he discovered that part of the island which runs east and west. The natives signified to him that this island was smaller than Samoet, and that it would be better to return towards the latter. It had now become calm, but shortly after there sprung up a breeze from W. N.W., which was abead for the course they had been steering, so they bore up and stood to the E. S. E. in order to get an offing; for the weather threatened a storm, which however dissipated itself in rain. The next day, being the 18th of October, they anchored opposite the extremity of Fernandina. The whole of this description answers most accurately to the island of Exuma, which lies south from San Salvador, and S.W. by S. from Concepcion. The only inconsistency is, that Columbus states that Fernandina bore nearly west from Concepcion, and was twenty-eight leagues in extent. This mistake must have proceeded from his having taken the long chain of keys called La Cadena for part of the same Exuma; which continuous appearance they naturally assume when seen from Concepcion, for they run in the same S. E. and N. W. direction. Their bearings, when seen from the same point, are likewise westerly as well as southwesterly. As a proof that such was the case, it may be observed, that, after having approached these islands, instead of the extent of Fernandina being increased to his eye, he now remarks that it was twenty leagues long, whereas it was before estimated by him at twenty-eight; he now discovers that instead of one island there were many, and alters his course southerly to reach the one that was most conspicuous. The identity of the island here described with Exuma is irresistibly forced upon the mind. The distance from Concepcion, the remarkable port with an island in front of it, and farther on its coast turning off to the westward, are all so accurately delineated, that it would seem as though the chart had been drawn from the description of Columbus. On the 19th of October, the ships left Fernandina, steering S. E. with the wind at north. Sailing three hours on this course, they discovered Samoet to the east, and steered for it, arriving at its north point before noon. Here they found a little island surrounded by rocks, with another reef of rocks lying between it and Samoet. To Samoet Columbus gave the name of Isabella, and to the point of it opposite the little island, that of Cabo del Isleo: the cape at the S. W. point of Samoet Columbus called Cabo de Laguna, and off this last his ships were brought to anchor. The little island lay in the direction from Fernandina to Isabella, east and west. The coast from the small island lay westerly twelve leagues to a cape, which Columbus called Fermosa from its beauty; this he believed to be an island apart from Samoet or Isabella, with another one between them. Leaving Cabo Laguna, where he remained until the 20th of October, Columbus steered to the N. E. towards Cabo del Isleo, but meeting with shoals inside of the small island, he did not come to anchor till the day following. Near this extremity of Isabella they found a lake, from which the ships were supplied with water.
This island of Isabella or Samoet agrees so accurately in its description with Isla Larga, which lies east of Exuma, that it is only necessary to read it with the chart unfolded to become convinced of the identity.
Having resolved to visit the islands which the natives called Cuba, and described as bearing W. S. W. from Isabella, Columbus left Cabo del Isleo at midnight, the commencement of the 24th October, and shaped his course accordingly to the W. S. W. The wind continued light, with rain, until noon, when it freshened up, and in the evening Cape Verde, the S. W. point of Fernandina, bore N. W. distant seven leagues. As the night became tempestuous, he lay to until morning, drifting according to the reckoning two leagues.
On the morning of the 25th he again made sail to W. S. W., until nine o'clock, when he had run five leagues; he then steered west until three, when he had run eleven leagues, at which hour land was discovered, consisting of seven or eight keys lying north and south, and distant five leagues from the ships. Here he anchored the next day, south of these islands, which he called Islas de Arena; they were low, and five or six leagues in extent.
The distances run by Columbus, added to the departure taken from Fernandina and the distance from these islands of Arena at the time of discovering, give a sum of thirty leagues. This sum of thirty leagues is about three times less than the distance from the S. W. point of Fernandina or Exuma, whence Columbus took his departure, to the group of Mucaras, which lie east of Cayo Lobo on the grand bank of Bahama, and which correspond to the description of Columbus. If it were necessary to account for the difference of three leagues in a reckoning, where so much is given on conjecture, it would readily occur to a seaman, that an allowance of two leagues for drift, during a long night of blowy weather, is but a small one. The course from Exuma to the Mucaras is about S. W. by W. The course followed by Columbus differs a little from this, but as it was his intention on setting sail from Isabella to steer W. S. W., and since he afterwards altered it to west, we may conclude that he did so in consequence of having been run out of his course to the southward, while lying to the night previous. Oct. 27.—At sunrise Columbus set sail from the Isles Arenas or Mucaras, for an island called Cuba, steering S. S. W. At dark, having made seventeen leagues on that course, he saw the land and hove his ships to until morning. On the 28th he made sail again at S. S. W., and entered a beautiful river with a fine harbor, which he named San Salvador. The journal in this part does not describe the localities with the minuteness with which everything has hitherto been noted ; the text also is in several places obscure. This port of San Salvador we take to be the one now known as Caravelas Grandes, situated eight leagues west of Nuevitas del Principe. Its bearings and distance from the Mucaras coincide exactly with those run by Columbus; and its description agrees, as far as can be ascertained by charts, with the port which he visited. Oct. 29.-Leaving this port Columbus stood to the west, and having sailed six leagues he came to a point of the island running N.W., which we take to be the Punta Gorda; and, ten leagues farther another stretching easterly, which will be Punta Curiana. One league farther he discovered a small river, and beyond this another very large one, to which he gave the name of Rio de Mares. This river emptied into a fine basin resembling a lake and having a bold entrance. It