|Santa Maria - Ship that changed the history|
The Santa Maria de la Immaculada Concepcion was one of multiple ships utilized by world-famous explorer, Christopher Columbus, on his initial voyage. Experts estimate that the Santa Maria was approximately, 60 feet long and weighed roughly 100 tons. This particular ship was not very large, nor was it designed for explorations. Only the size of a present day yacht, the Santa Maria was the biggest of the three boats (La Nina and La Pinta were the others) used by Christopher Columbus during his first exploration.
The Santa Maria, along with the other two ships mentioned above, wasn't built for open ocean travel. It was designed to be sailed on the Mediterranean Sea. Coupled with the fact that the ship was not brand new, but probably had one or two previous owners, Christopher Columbus and his men were quite brave for using the vessels for exploration.
Santa Maria was not the ship's original name. La Gallega, which meant The Galician, was. It was named La Gallega in honor of Pontevedra, Galicia, its city of origin. Though officially named Santa Maria, the ship's crew-members and sailors called it Marigalante, which meant Gallant Maria.
As mentioned above, the Santa Maria was not terribly large. It had three masts and one deck. However, the boat handled the trans-Atlantic trip pretty well.. In 1492, the ship was lost in what is now Haiti after it ran aground on December 25th. After it was determined that the ship could not be salvaged Columbus instructed his crew to strip the ship of its timber. It didn't go to waste. The timber from the boat was used in the construction of the Môle Saint-Nicolas, which was initially named La Navidiad, in honor of the fact the timber used to build it came from a ship that ran aground on December 25th, Christmas day. Santa Maria's anchor, one of the few items remaining from the ship, is now showcased in a Haiti museum.
There were rumors that the crew that operated Christopher Columbus's initial voyage, consisted mostly of criminals. This isn't true. Although there were indeed, a few crew crew members that were criminals (four in all), most did not have a criminal past. The majority of Santa Maria's crew members were sailors. They were from the towns of Palos and Galicia, as well as the surrounding areas. There were also a few from Andalusia.
Columbus's trip was financed by a number of Genovese bankers. This flies in the face of claims that the trip was financed by the Queen of Spain, who used a necklace given to her by the King, as collateral.
The Santa Maria is amongst the three ships used by Christopher Columbia during his first voyge. It is one that Christopher Columbus would use to change history. In honor and appreciation of its trans-Atlantic voyage and its place in history, numerous Santa Maria replicas have been constructed.
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