A Replica of Christopher Columbus' Ship, "The NiÑa" Docked at The Port of Redwood City June 27, 2002
La Niña (Spanish for The Girl) was one of the three Spanish ships used by explorer Christopher Columbus in his first voyage to the West Indies in 1492. As was tradition for Spanish ships of the day, she bore a female saint's name, Santa Clara. However, she was commonly referred to by her nickname, La Niña. Niña was about 60 tons and around 50 feet in length on the Deck. The ship was equal to a medium-sized caravel, a small highly-maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese.
On Columbus's first expedition, Niña carried 26 men, captained by Vicente Yáñez Pinzón and the crew was about 15 years of age while Christopher Columbus was about 50 years old. In those days, life expectancy was about 35 years old.
On the first voyage to America, the crew of Niña slept on the deck but adopted the use of hammocks after seeing Native Americans utilizing them. In 1501, Niña made a trading voyage to the Pearl Coast on the island of Cubagua, Venezuela, and no further log of her is found in historic archives. Niña logged at least 25,000 nautical miles under Columbus' command. Niña was by far, Columbus's favorite.