La Nina

Donna Wilkins

Joined August 2008

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Wall Art


Artist's Description

The Nina and Pinta replicas stopped in Stuart, FL on their tour route for a few days. Before the bit of history about the ships that Christopher Columbus used to sail in his search for the new world, I have to add there is some confusion on the names.

The controversy is which one is actually called the Santa Clara. The local newspaper states that the Pinta was named Santa Clara and Wikipedia states that is was the Nina and also, elsewhere states that it is the Pinta. The ship Nina only has a flag on it with Nina spelled out and the other ship had the name Santa Clara on it, thus the confusion. I checked a few other sources as well with no conclusive evidence of which really is the Santa Clara!

The following is from Wikipedia

The Niña (the Spanish word for “little girl”) was one of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage towards the Indies in 1492. The real name of the Niña was Santa Clara. The name Niña was probably a pun on the name of her owner, Juan Niño. She was a caravel-type vessel.

The other ships of the Columbus expedition were the caravel Pinta and the Carrack-type Santa María. The Niña was by far Columbus’ favorite. She was originally lateen sail rigged caravela latina, but she was re-rigged as caravela redonda at Azores with square sails for better ocean performance. There is no authentic documentation on the specifics of the Niña’s design. Often said to have had three masts, there is some evidence she may have had four masts.

A replica of the Niña (based upon theory; there are no known contemporary likenesses of any of the three ships) now sails around the world.

The 4-masted replica Niña was built in 1988 by engineer and naval researcher John Patrick Sarsfield, British naval historian Jonathan Morton Nance, and a group of master shipbuilders in Bahia, Brazila— who were still using design and construction techniques dating back to the 15th century. They built it from heavy, teredo-resistant Brazilian hardwoods using only adzes, axes, hand saws, and chisels. The sails were designed by Nance using square main sails and two aft lateen sails as were used by ships of this size at the end of the 15th century. The crew of the Niña say that it can make about 5-7 knots, which is quicker than older designs of the era.

In 1991, the replica sailed to Costa Rica to take part in the filming of “1492: Conquest of Paradise”, and as of mid-2008, the Niña has visited hundreds of North America ports to give the public a chance to see and tour the ship.

Nikon D70s
F8, 1/500
4/21/09 – 507/28

Artwork Comments

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