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On the Santa Maria with Christopher Columbus

Short story By: madeyelexi
Historical fiction


Abi, a young girl with a sick mother, pretends to be a boy to sneak on to the Santa Maria. She needs to go on this dangerous quest to the West to earn money for her mother. Many challenges are waiting for her.


Submitted:Jan 26, 2013    Reads: 187    Comments: 3    Likes: 0   


May 6th, 1492

Dear Journal,

I don't have a good feeling about Christopher Columbus's plan. He wants to travel west! I think that he wants to trick me and my ship mates in to tumbling off the edge of the world. He says that we are going to reach India by sailing west. He says it will be a faster rout than going east to trade. I also want to reach India because they have silk and jewels that we don't have in Italy. Christopher asked every queen and king he can for money for the voyage. Christopher, my ship mates, and I are trading to earn money too. I am doing this because if Christopher succeeds I will earn money and food my mother needs to survive. I hope my mother is going to be ok, since she has cancer and all. I still can't believe that I'm going on a trip with the son of a wool weaver. Columbus says the trip is going to be 2,400 miles long.

Today was an exciting day, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand from Spain gave Columbus the money for the trip. They also gave him three ships, the Santa Maria, the Nina, and the Pinta. The biggest one is the Santa Maria. I'm going to sail on that one with Columbus. The Nina is slightly bigger than the Pinta. The captain will be Martin Alzono Pinzon. His brother, Vicente Yanez Pinzon will be the captain of the Pinta, the smallest ship. All together 104 people are coming on the voyage. Columbus chose me as co. captain. I accepted because it will give more money to my mother. On the ships we will have live pigs, salted meat, wine, water, and chickens. Columbus hopes to find spices like cinnamon and nutmeg in India. Those spices are really rare. We will start sailing on September 6th 1942. I hope my mother won't be worried that I might fall off the edge. Sergio was my roommate and best friend. He still is now.

From,

Rami V. Rocci

August 3rd, 1492

Dear Journal,

We are going to sail today. We just finished packing the supplies. I just found out that there aren't any beds! The Santa Maria is ready to sail. My mother gave me a necklace with a glossy locket on it. It sparkles in the sunny morning. In the locket there is a family picture with all my sisters, brothers, and parents. Now that I have found a safe place for my journal, I can now say that I am a girl in a boy disguise. Only men are allowed on the trip. For lunch we had bread from the bakery across the road from the docks. The bread was fresh and it smelled like a warm and fresh croissant before a day of hard work. We also had meat from the butcher's store next to the bakery. After lunch I explored the ship. It has white sails with light brown cedar wood poles. You can smell the sea breeze. Seagulls squawked loudly up in the clear sky. The sun is bright yellow. I should stop looking at it. The redwood floor boards creak under my feet. It is not a bad creek, like the boat would break. It was a nice creak, like it was telling me to keep going. Columbus is kind, but he has bad ideas in my opinion. We start sailing at 2:00 O'clock. The sun is brightly illuminated. Everything is perfect, almost. I already miss my family. Everyone thinks I'm a boy. Sergio acts like he wants to be something more…

From,

Abi V. Rocci

August 17th, 1492

Dear Journal,

It's been two weeks since we left off. I have changed my mind about Columbus. He is a good captain; well he's kind of dreamy. I can't believe I just wrote that! I can't erase it! Well it is kind of true. I hope my family is ok. There is a storm coming. I hope it doesn't hit us. We are running out of food. Someone snuck in and stole some food because some was missing that we haven't eaten. Columbus and I are trying to catch them, but we tested everyone on the ship and no one has stolen the food. We think the stealer is from one of the other ships. I will speak to the other captains about this as soon as I can. The water is low. We have more barrels of water, but we don't want to risk losing all our water before we reach land. The crew is getting angry and worried; I think they want to murder Columbus. I won't let them do that though. I believe he knows what he is doing.

From,

Abi V. Rocci

August 20th, 1492

Dear Journal,

The storm hit yesterday. It was horrible. We saw a few leaves in the water, which is a good sign. The wind is still strong today. The waves crash on the sides of the boats. When I went out from the cabin for lunch I could hear the wind howling. The sails and flags are thrashing wildly. Columbus sailed us through the storm like a pro. He really is one though. I can barely smell the food any more, there is so little. The live pigs are all dead and eaten. The water is stale and the wine is strong. There is barely any more of the chickens; I almost forgot their juicy meat, and their mouthwatering smell. The captains are going to keep a look out for us about the thief. We suspect the thief is from the Pinta. The Nina got some food stolen too. A boy named Xavi on the Pinta looks guilty. He looks better fed out of every one else on the Pinta.

Everyone knows my name as Rami. I should have had a different boy look; I don't look very handsome like Columbus. I don't know whether I should tell Columbus that I'm a girl. Would he be mad at me or would he like me more (he might already like me) because I was brave enough to do this? I think I will tell him when we sight land so then if he throws me over board I can swim to Italy. I hope he won't be mad at me for lying. I hope my mother's ok. I really miss her, even if I look at her picture every day. I made Columbus pay early so the doctor can take care of my mother while I am away. If only there was a way I could contact her. Some of the men on the boat are trying to catch fish, but the only caught enough for five to ten people. I hope the Pinta doesn't break down again (it broke down in the beginning of the voyage so we had to stop at the Canary Islands). I hope the winds calm down.

From, Abi V. Rocci

October 10th, 1492

Dear Journal,

Today, we spotted land. You know what that means… I told Columbus. Here's what I did, I ask Columbus to come with me to the kitchens after lunch were we would be alone. I took off my hat and bandana. He almost screamed. This is what he said, "Well, this is a surprise. I can tell everyone if you don't want to." I told him not to. He told me that he wouldn't. Then suddenly he said that I was the most gorgeous girl he has ever seen. This is the best day of my life. I am now pretty sure he likes me! Columbus is not married I think, but everyone says he is because they don't like him much. The land looks like an island, not like Italy. I don't want to argue with Columbus in case he stops liking me. The land looks lush green. The beaches are sandier than the ones back in Italy. The sky is clearer than it has ever been on the sea. Flies buzz around my head but I don't mind because I've haven't seen any for days. I can hear animals screeching. Obviously not India, I don't know why Columbus can't see that. I can smell the island air, a relief from all the sea air. It smells fresh compared to the sea. The breeze is a blanket on top of me. It is as comfortable as hot chocolate after a winter day working outside. The crew calmed down because we spotted land. They don't want to kill Columbus any more. I wonder if there are any people on it. If there is I hope they are kind. We don't want to get ourselves killed. We put op our flag, Spain's flag. We also sent signs to tell the people on the island (if there is any) that we come in peace. We shall dock at the island tomorrow. Sergio sent me a bouquet of flowers; he doesn't realize that I love Columbus.

From,

Abi V. Rocci

October 11th, 1492

Dear Journal,

Today we dock on the shore of the island. Since I am writing this entry, it means I am still alive, and so is Columbus. The island has rocky beaches and clear water. The trees are healthy and they are a perfect shade of green. I never knew India would be this beautiful. On the island the Indians (that's what Columbus calls them) are very kind. They call the island Guanahani. The people call themselves, the Taino people. The Indians are different than us. The expressions on their faces show that they think we are different. They are much kinder than I thought they would be. I believe Columbus is right about the world being round. The crew is very happy (and I am too) to be finally well fed and to have a bed. The crew is very relieved that there weren't any monsters (the crew believed there would be). We didn't do much today because after eating we went straight to bed.

From,

Abi V. Rocci

October 14th, 1492

Dear Journal,

Today was very exciting. We left the island with renewed supplies and headed for Japan. Columbus claimed the island for Spain a few days ago. He named the island San Salvador. We brought six Indians with us. He left 39 men behind to create a city. Now that is over with we can get to the horrible part. Columbus took me deep in to me trees and said… He said he was already married. Sergio, the boy who volunteered for co-captain with me (so he is co-co-captain) came running in to the room and cried because he was so sad for me. Sergio and I are best friends. I think that Sergio would off felt out of place because he was Columbus's best friend to. Sergio new from the start that I was a girl. We sleep next to each other. He is so handsome now; I never thought I would actually think of loving him. My mother is waiting for me. I wish I could tell her all the news. I hope she is ok.

From, Abi V. Rocci

January, 16th 1493

Dear Journal,

Sergio is super nice. I know we are going to be a perfect couple. This is what happened: it was sunset, and we just walked off the boat holding hands. It was the best day of my life. Love was in the air. Sergio kneeled down on one knee. His green eyes glistened in the sunset. His auburn hair waved in the light breeze. He then asked me the most glorious question. "Will you marry me" he asked. I said "yes". A silver ring with a diamond, it slipped straight on my finger. I ripped of my bandana. Everyone gasped. Everything is great. Sergio is living with my mother and I. He paid her medical bill. He is so sweet. We are now Sergio and Abi Gavanchi. Columbus invited both of us to his next voyage to the Indies. I always knew there was something between us.

From,

Abi V. Gavanchi





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