First, the kids scampered down the Ponce Inlet Park jetty past the snow-like sand blowing in drifts & delighted in getting sprayed at the end of the pier.
Then we stepped back in time to enjoy a tour of the Nina [ The most historically accurate Columbus ship replica ever built] and her larger companion the Pinta.
* The Nina & Pinta are a type of vessel called caravel. It was a common trading vessel for nearly 100 years. This ship was especially loved by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers like Columbus.
* The Nina replica we toured was built in Brazil from traditional tools (axes, hand saws & chisels).
* The Nina needs only 7ft of water to draft – this came in handy when the Santa Maria ran aground (she needed 14ft of water). It caused Columbus to leave the larger wrecked ship and his 40 crew members behind, while he returned to Spain in the Nina.
* The Nina sailed at least 25,000 miles under Columbus’ command and made 3 trips to the New World.
* The average age for the original ship’s crew was 14-19 years old. They did have some members as young as 8 years old who did jobs like time keeper.
* The crew works in cycles of 4hrs on, 4hrs off.
One of the most amazing parts of our tour was; The 14 yr son of the replica Nina’s shipbuilders built a rowboat, as an apprentice, that sits on the deck today. In 2005, 15 yrs later, that same boy was the lead shipwright for the Pinta. Talk about an inspiring homeschooler’s story!!
While on-board, it was easy to imagine yourself in a time long past, the square sails full with the wind at your back. More than one of us marveled aloud about how interesting it would be to live the life of a sailor.
Thank you to everyone for coming out and spending your afternoon with us. It was a rare (albeit wet and soggy) treat!
May you know the SPiCE in life!