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When was Christopher Columbus’ first voyage?

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How many ships and men did Columbus take on his voyage?

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How did Ponce de León feel when he saw the Americas?


To the Americas

Ponce de León heard some exciting news. He heard that the great explorer Christopher Columbus was setting sail for the Americas again. 


On his first voyage in 1492, Columbus had sailed west across the Atlantic Ocean. He was hoping to reach China. Columbus did not know that the Americas were in his path. On the voyage, he discovered several islands just south of North America.


Ferdinand and Isabella were King and Queen of Spain. Now they were sending Columbus back to the islands he had discovered.


Ferdinand and Isabella wanted Columbus to bring back gold. He would take 17 ships and 1200 men with him.  Columbus was looking for soldiers to go with him. Ponce de León signed up for the voyage right away. 

Juan Ponce de León woke up to the rolling of the ship, just as he had every day for a month. The year was 1493. Ponce de León was on his way to the Americas from Spain. He was traveling with Columbus on Columbus's second voyage.


Ponce de León had never been to sea. He had been excited about starting out on the adventure, but it was turning out to be an awful trip. The ship was crowded. No one had taken a bath since the ship sailed, and everyone smelled bad. The bread was moldy. There were rats and cockroaches everywhere. And most of the men on the ship were seasick.


Suddenly, Ponce de León heard a shout. The lookout was calling out "Tierra." Ponce de León rushed onto the deck. The sun was just coming up. There, right in front of him, was a beautiful, green island. It was his first look at the Americas.


That day was the beginning of Ponce de León's adventures in the Americas.

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