While the Nina and Pinta replicas were docked at The Oyster House in Peridio Key we decided to take a tour. Brenda's sister Karen and brother-in-law Peter joined us for a nice lunch and a tour of both ships. The Columbus Foundation had the replicas built as sailing exhibits that would roam from port to port for everyone to tour. Neat!
The tour costs $8, but since we are now officially "seniors" at 55+ we got aboard for $7 each. Both ships were hand built in Valenca, Spain by eighth generation Portuguese shipwrights. The little Nina was just 65 ft. long and 18 ft. wide. Not much area for the 24 hearty souls aboard originally. The Pinta replica was built 15 ft. longer and 6.5 ft. wider than the original. It still seems awfully small for a crew of 26.
We loved the huge rigging lines and wooden pulleys. The wooden windlasses were really interesting, but it is almost depressing how little improvement there is in our "modern" manual windlass aboard Wrinkles. It is still just a simple cog wheel design made out of metal.
The massive tillers projected 10-12 ft. into the boat and were still 8 inches square at their forward ends. You could just envision the awful job it must have been to man those things in bad weather.
Did you know that the ship's names, Nina and Pinta, were just nicknames? We must have been napping that day in high school. The Santa Clara was nicknamed the Nina by her sailors. The name Pinta was also a nickname, but the original name appears to have been long forgotten.