Imagine sailing on a great expedition across the treacherous waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It was on a boat similar to this that joined the party of Christopher Columbus’ crew in an several transatlantic adventures. Companioned by the Santa Maria and Pinta the boat explored the islands of the Caribbean. Overall the Nina had been logged in Columbus’ journal as having traveled at least 25,000 nautical miles. Today the replica of the Nina travels around the continent sharing glimpses into the historical past of the ship.
History of the Original Nina
This boat was used on the first voyage Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. Only 26 men sailed aboard the Nina during this journey. It was in August of 1492 that they sailed from Spain to what is now the Canary Islands and the Bahamas. They spent the winter months in the tropics exploring the area and returned in the spring of 1493.
Just a few short months later, the crew set out again, but this time with 17 ships including the Nina. This boat lead everyone across as they were in search of exploring Hispaniola. After sailing the waters for nearly two years, all remaining ships except the Nina were destroyed in a Hurricane in 1495.
With as many crew as they could fit onto the Nina, Columbus and his men returned to Spain in 1496.
While on a trip to Rome, the Nina was captured by a crew of pirates and taken to Sardinia. Later in 1498, Columbus’ third voyage went back to Hispaniola. Over the next several years she explored the area of the Caribbean. The last record of the Nina is somewhere along the coast of Isla de Cubagua, Venezuela in 1501.
The History of the Replica Nina
This replica of the Nina was built in Brazil alongside the Pinta in the late 1980s. Engineers, historians, naval researchers and shipbuilders all worked together to construct these replicas as best they could to how the Portuguese would have built the ships.
They used hand saws, chisels and other period tools to construct the vessels of Brazilian hardwood. The ship weighs about 75 tons and travels at a speed of 5-7 knots using its replicated sails.
The two ships travel North America giving people the opportunity to explore what these famous historic ships would have been like to be aboard.
While the Nina was docked at Palafox Pier in downtown Pensacola, we got to experience the miraculous ship!
During its docking in Pensacola, the cost to tour the ship was only $5 per person and that included a guided tour around the deck of the boat.
For more information about where the Nina (or the Pinta) is on tour, admission and hours please visit http://www.ninapinta.org/.
Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!