The Santa María was a small carrack, or "nao", about 70 feet long, used as the flagship for the expedition.
She carried 40 men. The Santa María was constructed from pine and oak.
The other ships of the Columbus expedition were the caravel-type ships Santa Clara, remembered as the Niña ("The Girl" - a pun on the name
of her owner, Juan Niño) and Pinta ("The Painted" - this might be a reference to excessive makeup). All these ships were second-hand
(if not third or more) and were never meant for exploration.
The Santa María was originally named La Gallega ("The Galician"), because she was built in Pontevedra, Galicia. It seems the ship was known
to her sailors as Marigalante, Spanish for "Gallant Mary".
Columbus Day coloring pages are a popular activity for early school children to learn about the history of this day.