The Pinta and the Nina

The Pinta's rigging

The Pinta’s rigging

I love boats and ships.  In fact, the white noise that I use to help me fall asleep most night is an app that has a boat sounds selection.  The creaking of the ropes and the lapping of the water against the hull make me feel like I am being rocked to sleep.

Entrance to the Nina's Captain's cabin

Entrance to the Nina’s Captain’s cabin

So I was really looking forward to touring replicas of the Nina and the Pinta.  (Drives me crazy not having the proper key for the Spanish character in Nina).  🙂

But the crowds were too large and moved too fast for me to get the feel of life aboard the ships.  I learned how the crew hoisted the heavy anchor.  I learned how they steered without a wheel.  And I learned that, with the available instruments in the 1490’s, they could determine longitude but not latitude.  Their time pieces weren’t accurate enough.  For instance, if the sand in your hour glass got damp and started clumping, you were out of luck.

View through the grate covering the Nina's cargo hold.

View through the grate covering the Nina’s cargo hold.

But I couldn’t go down into the cargo hold and see where horses (must have been small Spanish horses) were hoisted down into and kept with slings around their bellies for support so they wouldn’t break their legs on one of the Nina’s voyages.  I couldn’t go into the captain’s cabin with a 4′ high ceiling and no ventilation except the grate over the entrance.  And although they told us where the crews slept, I don’t remember because I didn’t experience the spaces.

Provisions cask

Provisions cask

So I’m glad I went.  I saw both ships, but I still don’t know them.

There was a sign saying they needed crew members.  Ron told me I should sign on as ship’s cook.  If I were younger and healthier, I would probably do just that.  At least I would KNOW how Columbus and his crews felt on their long voyages into the unknown.

Well, I wouldn’t know the unknown part, but I would know the ships!

The tiller attached to the rudder was used to steer the ship.

The tiller attached to the rudder was used to steer the ship.

BTW, the smaller Nina was my favorite of the two ships.  It was Columbus’s favorite, too.

Rope that was too worn to use for rigging was used to make bumpers.

Rope that was too worn to use for rigging was used to make bumpers.

Model showing the ships' structure.

Model showing the ships’ structure.

Here's your chance, wannabe sailors!

Here’s your chance, wannabe sailors!


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