Three ships in a small fleet Spanish were the Santiago, the San Cristobal and the Santa Maria de la Consolacion. In March 1513, they sailed northwest from Puerto Rico along the great chain of Bahama Islands. By March 27, Easter Sunday, they reached the northern end of the Bahamas sighting an unfamiliar island (probably Great Abaco). For the next several days the fleet crossed open water until April 2, 1513, when they sighted land which Ponce de León believed was another island. He named it La Florida in recognition of the verdant landscape and because it was the Easter season, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers).