At about 2:00 a.m., a seaman serving lookout on the Pinta shouted that land was to the northwest, and the Pinta’s lombard was discharged. Sailors on the three ships cried, embraced, and sang a hymn to the Virgin Mary for watching over them. The ships quartered offshore until dawn.
It’s undisputed that the Taíno name for the island sighted was Guanahaní and that Columbus named Guanahaní “San Salvador.” Geographers and historians continue to disagree whether this Guanahaní/San Salvador is the island currently named “San Salvador” or another. My on-site observation was that the current “San Salvador” does well correspond to Columbus’s Journal description of his San Salvador.
Columbus directed his ships to Guanahaní’s leeward western shore where they anchored and the first encounters occurred. Columbus believed he had found an outer island to the Indies’ mainland.