Traveling on the Santa Maria–Not Exactly a Ride on the Queen Mary
As everyone knows, Columbus had three ships on his maiden voyage to the New World, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
Unlike the other two, more agile boats, the flagship Santa Maria was a carrack. Fat and slow, she was designed for hauling cargo (read ‘gold’), not for exploration.
Slow as the Santa Maria was, the voyage itself was not without drama. The ship was forced off course; mutiny was threatened; instead of discovering the western passage to China, Columbus and his crew ran aground in San Salvador, Cuba and the Dominican Republic (ho hum!). Finally, the Santa Maria collided with a reef on Christmas Day and had to be salvaged for its timber.
I tried to weave at least some of these colorful elements into Christopher Middleton’s own ‘voyage’ across the Central Park reservoir in my young adult adventure series, Central Park Story, and highlight what actually took place on Columbus’ historic voyage to the new world.