Bucks Writs - Spring 2019 - 28

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THE NINA, THE PINTA and THE SANTA MARIA
By Nancy Larkin Taylor
The crowd on the dock collectively gasped when
they caught the first glimpse of the two replica
ships of the Nina and Pinta under the Barber Bridge
sailing up the Indian River, 527 years after they left
with their sister ship, the Santa Maria, from the
Canary Islands under Columbus' command. We
had time traveled.
Volunteer deckhands of the Columbus Foundation
easily docked both ships, opened them for public
inspection and enthusiastically shared tales of
Columbus' four trips to the New World. Only on
the last trip did he realize Jamaica was not China
and the Bahamas was not Japan. Oh well.
As you know, in 1492 the Nina, Pinta and Santa
Maria were used by Columbus on his first voyage
across the Atlantic during the Age of Discovery.
The Santa Maria was wrecked in the Bahamas
on the first trip. The Pinta returned home but
disappeared from history.
The Nina was a woman with a past. After she
brought Columbus safely home, she returned to
Hispaniola for the second voyage, went to Cuba,
survived the 1495 hurricane and returned to Spain.
On her way to Rome she was captured by a corsair
in the port of Cagliari, anchored in Sardinia where
she was stripped of her arms and crew. Her captain
escaped with a few men, stole a boat, rowed back
to Nina, cut her cables and sailed back to Spain to
make the third New World journey, logging at least
25,000 miles with Columbus before 1501.
In 1988, American engineer and maritime historian
John Patrick Sarsfield built the first historically
correct replicas of the 15th Century Caravel. He
had the help of a group of eighth generation
Portuguese shipwrights and master builders in
Bahia, Brazil. They employed the original design
and construction techniques using only adzes,
axes, handsaws and chisels on the ironwood before
waterproofing it with pine tar, turning the ships
black. A British historian copied the sail plan, so the
ships appear as they would have looked when they
left the Canary Islands.

The Nina was a woman with a past. After
she brought Columbus safely home, she
returned to Hispaniola for the second
voyage, went to Cuba, survived the 1495
hurricane and returned to Spain. On
her way to Rome she was captured by a
corsair in the port of Cagliari, anchored
in Sardinia where she was stripped of her
arms and crew.

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/BucksWritsSpring2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2017
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