Under the Sea

Christopher Columbus DAR Essay


This is my story for the Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Contest. The story is supposed to be about yourself on the expedition with Christopher Columbus and what went on. I won for our county and hopefully I can win state too! I hope you enjoy it:)


As I stood there in complete shock, drenched in sea water and tattered battle clothes, I watched as the beast was destroying our flagship, The Santa Maria. The ship itself was not the most capable at sailing; she was stubby and uncomfortable but still got the job done. The last I knew, we were safely sailing on Christmas Eve near a small island. Now, I was praying Christopher Columbus would know what to do. He was an incredibly strong, brave, and cunning man so I knew I would be safe; however, I still trembled in my sailor’s boots and backed away slowly. Not even a minute had passed by and suddenly I, Clara Licklider, was a coward who left my shipmates behind as I ran to the back of the ship. Keep going, find the escape boat, I thought to myself. As I was getting closer, my stomach twisted into knots. Why did I just leave? Quickly, I turned around and sprinted back to my comrades. I would not be a coward, not today. As I approached, I could see the beast had almost fully surfaced. It had more tentacles than I could count, each the size of one of the ships pillars. It’s body was plated with armor thicker than anything I had ever seen. Finally, the beast’s head was an atrocious mix between a squid and a hammerhead shark. This creature was the most terrifying sight I had ever seen. How would we even make it out alive? My negative thoughts quickly dissipated as I watched several of my crewmates picked up by the slimy tentacles and thrown into the air.

Soon after, Christopher himself was picked up by the beast, and it’s tentacles squeezed him as hard as they could. I could tell Christopher was on the edge of despair. With all the courage that I could muster, I ran at the beast’s appendage that held Christopher and pulled my sword out of my belt. As I got closer, I leapt into the air and sunk my sword into the beast’s tentacle flesh hoping it would let go. To my satisfaction, a loud wail came from the creature; it let go of Christopher immediately. I went to help Christoper up only to be brutally smacked into the ship’s mast by one of the tentacles. My vision started to become blurry and my head felt heavy as the final scene of Christopher coming to help me flashed before my eyes. 

I awoke in my bed, with my head throbbing so hard that I could hardly sit up. I was drenched in sweat from the crazy dream I just had. I lifted my hand and touched my head softly only to discover that it was wrapped in bandages. What happened?? I thought to myself. The last I had remembered I was sailing the Atlantic. I looked around the room that I was in and realized I was home in Spain. 

As I looked around my room, I saw my journal that I always kept with me no matter where I went. I reached over and picked it up off  my night stand and felt that it was slightly soggy. Did I drop it in some water? I opened a page I bookmarked and read, “August 3, 1492. I am incredibly excited to start my voyage with Christopher Columbus. He is such an inspiring man. I believe that we will definitely find a faster route to Asia and become the best explorers alive. The voyage includes the following three ships: the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. I am stationed on the Santa Maria along with fifty or so other crewmates and Christopher Columbus, the leader of the voyage.”

I flipped through a few of the pages, reading aimlessly, trying to remember these events, but nothing was coming back to me. Most of them included how very few ship problems occurred, little to no sea adversaries, and an abundance of wind to carry the ships. After reading a few journal entries, I stopped on a particularly interesting one. “October 12th, 1492. We have discovered land! A small island is now planted with the royal banner of Spain. Christopher decided to name it San Salvador after Jesus the Savior. He believes that our ships landed on the West Indies. We even encountered Native people who were quite different from our own. We refer to them as Indians. These people were quite friendly; however, Christopher insisted that we capture a few to bring them back to Spain. I believe that our discoveries will change the world as we know it and inspire many more people to go on voyages.” 

With the mention of the new land discovered, small bits of my memory were coming back to me. I remembered a few more of our discoveries such as our discovery of Cipango which I believe to be our most important finding. I was about to continue reading when suddenly my mother came in with Christopher Columbus, the man himself. I said a soft hello and  hadn’t realized how dry my mouth was until now. My mother brought me a glass of water, which I was very grateful for, and then proceeded to leave the room. 

When I looked at Christopher, a sudden ache attacked my head. It was as if seeing him had sparked a long lost memory. What happened to have caused me to be so wounded that I cannot even remember? Christopher asked, “How are you feeling?” I replied, “Simply terrible.”

Christopher started pacing around my room as if something was troubling him. I asked, “What exactly happened to me? Why am I so hurt?” Christopher looked pained by the questions, almost as if he would rather talk about anything else. “The Santa Maria sadly crashed. We had to leave most of our men on an island with supplies so that the rest of us could return home.” I gasped, now understanding why I would be so hurt; however, I still had a nagging feeling that something bigger than just a crash happened.

 “Do you remember the crash at all Clara?,” he said with an intriguing look.

 “Actually I don’t, and I was hoping that you would be able to explain it to me.” 

He smiled at me and explained, “It was just a regular crash and you actually saved me from potentially dying, but in return you were injured. I want to thank you for saving my life. I need to go now, but just remember, it was a normal crash. Nothing out of the ordinary happened on that ship.” With that, he exited my room and in return, left me with an odd feeling. Why would he say something like that? Maybe something really crazy did happen on the Santa Maria. Was my dream actually reality? I laughed to myself. Christopher wouldn’t lie to me, and sea monsters aren’t real. As I lay back down to fall asleep, I had convinced myself that the events on the Santa Maria I had only dreamed; of course, nothing like that could actually have happened… Or could it?

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