These ships are replicas of the infamous ships that Christopher Columbus sailed around the ocean blue. A company constructed the replicas and is taking them on a whirlwind tour of port cities along the East Coast, the Great Lakes and various rivers in the Midwest region.
I don’t really believe in Columbus as the discovery-man he is revered as, but I still wanted to check out the ships.
It was a pretty awesome experience.
Both the Nina and Pinta were constructed in Brazil, by shipwrights that have been building ships for eight generations. Each one took around three years to complete.
The Nina is an exact replica of the original. I was blown away by its size— it was really, really tiny! It was tied up to the port in Wyandotte, MI and I felt like I was going to be knocked outta the ship because it rocked and rolled with a vengeance.
The Pinta was the larger of the two and was a little more steady. I still could not imagine taking this baby for a spin in the ocean. It seems unbelievable. I guess that the first voyage took seven months to complete, which I can’t really comprehend fully because I was only on there for 20 minutes max.
The ships themselves were amazing. The masts rose high into the sky and were really something. The thing that took me by surprise was how sturdy they were. The replicas were created by hand, using lo-fi hand tools: axes, hand saws and chisels were the main contenders. The wood was felled from local Brazillian forests and the planks were sealed with pine tar, which is water-resistant.
Where is the Santa Maria you ask? Legend has it that Columbus was not a fan of the Santa Maria, so there’s that. He thought she was ‘slow and clumsy.’ The ship also never made it back to Europe so I guess it has a smaller fan base.