The Santa Maria
The Santa Maria is perhaps one of the most famous ships in history, at least for the Americans. The ship was one of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus on his journey that led to the discovery of America. The Santa Maria was the largest of the three ships on the voyage and it was led by Juan de la Cosa. Being the largest also meant that the Santa Maria was the slowest with three masts. The ship made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean fine, but the journey back was not as easy.
On December 24th, 1492, Christopher Columbus decided to get some rest after two days of being awake. The steersman saw that the night was calm and figured that he could rest too and leave the cabin boy at the helm. This was expressly forbidden by the admiral and it was clear why when the ocean currents pushed the ship into a sandbank. The cabin boy had little idea what to do and the ship ran aground at present-day Cap-Haitien, Haiti. Realizing the ship was stuck and they were stranded, Christopher Columbus told the men to take the timbers from the ship and build a fort. The fort was named La Navidad because it was built on Christmas day.
Local natives helped Columbus and his men empty the ship and build the fort before the ship disappeared into the ocean. It is believed to have later been buried by sediment. The ship has never been found, despite knowing the area that the ship sunk. In 2014, Barry Clifford believed that he had found the famous ship but an examination by experts found that the ship Clifford had found was from the 17th or 18th century and therefore far too modern to be the Santa Maria.