A piece of American history arrived in Naples last Tuesday, when replicas of the sailing vessels used by Christopher Columbus docked at Tin City Shops in Naples. The “Nina” and “Pinta”, originally named after Saints were built by hand and the Nina was reproduced without the use of any power tools and it is considered the most historically correct version of the original. The Santa Maria was the third ship used by Columbus but sank in .
The Nina, was one of a three ships that Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic in 1492 on a discovery mission to the new world in three different voyages, and its’ last known log was recorded in 1501. Under Columbus’ command the Nina logged over 25,000 nautical miles.
The Pinta, was the fastest ship Columbus’s sailed in his widely known mission. With a crew of just 26 seamen, the Pinta accompanied the Nina on several transatlantic voyages including the one accredited as “discovering America.” The ship left Pablos de la Frontera and stopped in the Canary Islands in August of 1492 and they made landfall in the Bahamas at dawn in October of 1492. It is believed that the Pinta was originally built in 1441. But was rebuilt sometime later for Christopher Columbus to sail. The Pinta also survived the hurricane in 1495 and later returned to Spain in 1496.
The Nina and Pinta were smaller ships and that made sailing difficult in the Atlantic Ocean. Recruiting seamen was a difficult task because of the treacherous open seas. Some of the few seamen manning the Pinta included a handful of criminals and were given a shorter sentence for sailing with Columbus.
The ships will remain at Tin City until when they will sail to Fort Myers and dock at .
The ships will be open to the public for self-guided tours. For more information visit www.ninapinta.org