Replicas of two of the three small ships that carried Christopher Columbus’ expedition to America more than 500 years ago have docked in Bridgeport, and you’re welcome aboard.
You’ve only got until Tuesday, July 4 (or maybe Monday). On Tuesday, the boats set sail from Bridgeport on a trip to Newburgh, N.Y. on the Hudson River (where you can see them for several days starting July 7).
“We are a floating museum, and we visit ports all over the Western Hemisphere,” says the website of the Columbus Foundation, headquartered in the British Virgin Islands.
“The Niña is a replica of the ship on which Columbus sailed across the Atlantic on his three voyages of discovery to the new world beginning in 1492,” the foundation says.
The smaller of the two ships, the Nina’s deck length is 65 feet, with an 18-foot beam and a seven foot draft. It’s total tonnage is 75 tons; its sail area is 1,919 square feet. Columbus and his crew sailed it 25,000 miles into the unknown in an incorrect calculation that they’d get to the Far East. The ship was last heard of in 1501.
If You Go …
- The Nina and the Pinta are at Captain’s Cove Marina (here) until July 4.
- You can walk aboard the ships for a self-guided tour. They’re open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission for adults is $8 ($7 for seniors) and $6 for students ages five to 16 years old. Children four and under get in free.
- The ships are open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations necessary.
The Pinta is somewhat larger in every way: Deck length: 85 feet; beam, 23 feet; draft, 7.5 feet; tonnage: 101 tons; sail area: 3,800 square feet.
That ship “was recently built in Brazil to accompany the Nina on all of her travels,” according to the website.
“She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel and offers larger deck space for walk-aboard tours and has a 40-foot air conditioned main cabin down below with seating. Pinta is available for private parties and charters.”
“We have the most accurate reproduction of a caravel that’s ever been built,” said Morgan Sanger, senior captain for both ships, in the video below. The reproduction ships sail (and have motors) not only up and down the coast, but (in 2010) even up the Mississippi as far as Wisconsin.
After the ships leave Bridgeport on July 4, they’ll be in Newburgh, N.Y., a bit north of Westchester County on the Hudson River, from July 7 to 11. Then they move up the Hudson River and eventually to the Great Lakes. They’ll be traveling down the Mississippi again this fall, according to their port schedule.
This six-minute video starts off a bit slowly, but you’ll see a lot in it and it has an explanation of what the ships are all about: