The 3 ships used by Christopher Columbus


This ship has 24 men boarded on it. The captain’s name was Vicente Yanez. It was amongst the three ships used by Cristopher Columbus on his first voyage to West Indies in 1942. Nina is a short or a nickname for this ship, but its real name was Santa Clara. Like the other ships, it was like a caravel type of vessel shaped.  As many of they say and as the history tells this ship was by far Columbus favourite. It was almost 60 tons in weight. Also, its length was approx. 50 feet on deck. Also said that it had three masts with square and triangular sails. This ship was a small trade ship among all the 3, built purposefully to sail the Mediterranean Sea.  This ship became the only ship to survive the hurricane that came in 1495 and reached safely to Spain in 1496. Under Columbus captainship and command, it logged around 25000 nautical miles


The meaning of the word ‘PINTA’ is ‘Painted One’. This is also a nickname given to it. This ship was smaller and had 2 or 3 masts on it, weighed approx. 60 tons just like Santa Maria with a length of 17 metres and width of 5.3 metres of the deck. The shape of it is square rigged. It boarded around 26 men with a captain named Martin Alonso. This was also described as a caravel and the fastest of the three.


This ship was the largest of all the ships but also the slowest. It weighed around 100 tons that are quite heavy and 58 feet long in the deck. It also had a nickname just like the 2, “La Gallega” meaning Galician. It was built in Galicia that’s why this name. It had four masts on it having triangular, square sails. The owner of this ship was Juan de la Cosa, and he was also the captain of it. This ship sailed well across the Atlantic Ocean but broke near Haiti.  Columbus used this ship as his flagship and was completely decked up with the flags of Columbus. While exploring it struck a reef on the day of Christmas in 1492, so the crew celebrated the day by abandoning ship and building a fort with its timbers. As soon as this ship sank Columbus returned to Spain with Nina and Pinta.  The Santa Maria was the famous ship in exploring and navigating Columbus’ 1492 expedition that was to find a westward passage to Asia. On the return trip, the Santa Maria was wrecked, and the captain of the Pinta sailed off on his own to try to beat Columbus back. Columbus returned to Spain in the Nina, arriving on March 15, 1493.


All the ships travelled almost a distance of 100 miles per day. The ships carried 120 men all in total. The worst health problem was of scurvy, and there was also a lack of proper sanitation in those ships.

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