23 Apr Nina and Pinta replicas dock at Harbourside Place
By Sarah Elsesser – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
JUPITER — It was a calm morning at the Harbourside Place dock where two huge wooden ships sat. A small crew was quickly tying knots, adjusting sails and setting up for visitors that were expected to arrive soon.
Carved in the back of the 85-foot, black colored ship was the word “Pinta” and in front was the Nina — a 65-foot beauty. These two vessels are replicas of the ones Christopher Columbus used to sail the ocean in 1492.
Captain Steven Sanger, wearing a plaid shirt and baseball cap and holding a mini megaphone, emerged from the Nina as his dog trailed behind him.
Sanger, a crew member for 10 years, chuckled as he answered the question on everyone’s mind: Why is there no Santa Maria?
“The Santa Maria would need about 12 feet of water to float. When you come up to a dock, we are only sitting in 8 feet of water right now,” explained Sanger. “So, the Santa Maria simply wouldn’t be able to travel to about 75 percent of the ports that we go to.”
This is the second year in the row the two replicas have been stationed at Harbourside Place. Last year, they drew about 1,000 people.
Crewmember Collin Foster, 20, of Atlanta, said two years ago he was just like the visitors who come today. He was in Punta Gorda when he saw the “crew wanted” sign on the Pinta and joined the crew two days later.
“It’s been an adventure of a lifetime,” said Collin, who is a deckhand. “Every day is something new.”
Sanger agreed that he loves that the Nina and Pinta give him a sense of “adventure and purpose,” but his favorite thing about being captain is something else: “Being able to travel around on the most historically accurate replica of the Nina in the world,” said Sanger. “But, I also love being able to share history with all the young kids, who are able to step out of the classroom and step on aboard the ships.”
Moments later a group of home-schooled children lined up along the dock to get a glimpse of “the pirate ships,” as 5-year-old Calefrom Juno Beach described them.
The school group was touring the Nina on Friday, which Amy Spring, of Juno Beach, said worked out perfectly since the kids are learning about American history this year.
“We came last year for the event. It is very educational and the children were really enthusiastic about it,” said Spring. “They’ve done such an amazing job creating this replication of [the ships].”
The Nina and Pinta will be on display from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until April 29. For more information visit www.ninapinta.org or call 787-672-2152. The cost to tour the ships is $8 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $6.50 for students. Children 4 and under are free.
Original post: Palm Beach Post