To the Ships!

shamrockYesterday, despite the Irish gales a blowin’ we and 26 others braved Ponce Inlet, Florida. It was a great day!

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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.

pinta ireneBelow; some interesting tidbits learned from yesterday’s tour.

* 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.

 * There are 2 miles of line used above deck ropes

* Like in the 1500’s, the crew sails for 10 months out of the year. It is a floating museum to educate the public.nina & pinta

* 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!!

If you missed the ships you can visit their website here and their facebook to keep up-to-date on where they will be docking .nina squaresail

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!

AS

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