Traveling east by going west,
With three ships and a crew,
Columbus proved the earth was round
In four-teen ninety-two.
Exploring for Spanish monarchs,
Isabella and Ferdinand,
The Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria
Soon reached Waitling Island.
One year later he sailed again
Discovering Puerto Rico
In fifteen hundred returned in chains
And failed to die a hero.
author's note: Columbus had three ships on his first voyage. The flagship Santa Maria had the nickname "La Gallega." Today we would call this kind of ship a carrack. It was a fat and slow cargo ship, not meant for exploration. The santa maria was a 100 ton ship, meaning it could carry 100 "toneladas," which were large kegs of wine. The Pinta was a caravel, a smaller, lighter and faster ship. she was perhaps a 70 ton ship. The smallest ship, the Nina, was a 50 ton caravel. However her lateen sails were refitted with square sails on the fore and main masts in the Canary Islands.