A Sailor On Board The Pinta Sights Land
A sailor on board the Pinta sighted land early in the morning of October 12, 1492, and a new era of European exploration and expansion began.
The next day, the 90 crew members of Christopher Columbus's three-ship fleet ventured onto the Bahamian island of Guanahaní, ending a voyage begun nearly ten weeks earlier in Palos, Spain.
As a reward for his valuable discovery, the Spanish crown granted Columbus the right to bear arms. His new Coat of Arms added the royal charges of Castile and Leon and an image of islands to his traditional family arms. Columbus further modified the design to include a continent beside the pictured islands.
Before his final voyage, the Spanish monarchs prepared a Book of Privileges, a collection of agreements showing how Columbus was remunerated for his explorations. In 1502, four copies of the book were known to exist. The Library of Congress's precious copy of this work is considered one of the "Top Treasures" included in the online exhibition American Treasures of the Library of Congress.
La Pinta ("the painted one", "the spotted one") was the fastest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. The New World was first sighted by Rodrigo de Triana on the Pinta on October 12, 1492.
Pinta was a caravel-type vessel. By tradition Spanish ships were named after saints and usually given nicknames. Thus, Pinta, like Niña, was not the ship's actual name. The actual name of the Pinta is unknown.
Pinta was square rigged and was smaller than the Santa María, weighing approximately 60 tons with a length of 20 meters and a width of 7 meters. The crew size was 26 men. Captain of the Pinta was Martín Alonso Pinzón.
The other ships of the Columbus expedition were the Niña and the Santa María. There are no known contemporary likenesses of Columbus' ships. Replicas of each of all three ships exist, the best-known of which is the "sailing museum" Niña, built in 1992, which has toured the world continuously since then.