June 14, 2004: Headlines: COS - Brazil: Engineering: Maritime History: Palladium Times: Brazil RPCV John Patrick Sarsfield's replica of Columbus's ship visits Oswego

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Brazil: Peace Corps Brazil: The Peace Corps in Brazil: June 14, 2004: Headlines: COS - Brazil: Engineering: Maritime History: Palladium Times: Brazil RPCV John Patrick Sarsfield's replica of Columbus's ship visits Oswego

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-45-115.balt.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 8:17 pm: Edit Post

Brazil RPCV John Patrick Sarsfield's replica of Columbus's ship visits Oswego

Brazil RPCV John Patrick Sarsfield's replica of Columbus's ship visits Oswego

Brazil RPCV John Patrick Sarsfield's replica of Columbus's ship visits Oswego


OSWEGO -- Those living in the Oswego area had their final opportunity this past weekend to board not only a tall ship, but a nearly exact replica of the Nina, the ship that carried Christopher Columbus across the Atlantic on his three voyages during the 15th century.

The ship, which sailed into port on Thursday, was open for an exclusive tour, which included Oswego Mayor John Gosek on Friday afternoon, and was available for public tours on Saturday and Sunday.

The Nina was said to have been Columbus' favorite ship and logged at least 25,000 miles while under his command. The replica, which was built by the Columbus Foundation, took approximately two years of research and almost three years to build. Archeology magazine has call the ship the most historically accurate ever built.

The Nina was a caravel, which was a common trading vessel used during the "Age of Discovery." Caravels were also used as cargo carriers, warships, patrol boats and even corsairs, or pirate ships. Their advantages were speed and maneuverability.

Caravels have always been linked with Portuguese and Spanish explorations and explorers. They were used by Bartholomew Diaz to chart the Cape of Good Hope and by Vasco de Gama in 1502.

The replica was designed and constructed in Valenca, Brazil, by American engineer, maritime historian and expert on Portuguese caravels John Patrick Sarsfield. He had lived in Brazil while working in the Peace Corps and had learned of the archaic ship building process called Mediterranean Whole Moulding used in the 15th century.

Tragically, on July 11, 1990, Sarsfield was killed in a traffic accident while on a trip to select a main mast for the Nina.

The ship, which was completed in 1991, has been continually touring since June of 1992. She has a deck length of 66 feet and an overall length of 93.6 feet.

According to Captain Morgan Sanger, the replica of the Nina has sailed to over 500 ports and has been seen in 20 films, including the film "1492" directed by Ridley Scott.

"The movie '1492' really got us going and got us funding," said Sanger. He said it was when the vessel was used in the movies that an engine needed to be added.

The captain himself has spent the last 13 years sailing the Nina and has been to the Great Lakes six times.

"But this is our final tour," he said with a smile. "It's not like with the rock bands who have several 'final tours.'"

The Nina will be making her permanent home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

"It's a museum piece, this ship," said Sanger. "We'll be sailing two two-hour trips a day and giving tours."

He said the Columbus Foundation is currently building a new ship like the Nina, only it will be one-third larger and will be called the "Santa Clara," which is the Nina's real name. Spanish vessels, he said, were often named after saints.

"And there were only so many saints they had to reuse their names," he said with a laugh. Ships were generally known by a nickname, he added, like the Nina.

The crew of the Nina, he said, consists of seven men and women, all of whom are quartered below deck, including himself.

Doc Kaiser is part of the crew and his mom, Elenore, now in her 70s, often crews with the Nina. After a life of military moves and raising three children, Elenore was lost when her husband died only a few years into retirement.

"Miss Ellie," as she is affectionately known on board, gave it a try one summer and loved the adventure and the ship. She was not on the Nina in Oswego, however, Doc said they were picking her up in Rochester as she wanted to be a part of the last tour.

While crewing, Miss Ellie cooks, sells admission tickets and runs the gift shop.

"She's a great cook," commented Sanger.

According to Dick Pfund, vice-president and fleet coordinator of the Oswego Maritime Alliance, the Nina saw a little over 500 visitors on Saturday and over 1,000 on Sunday, mostly families.

"I was sitting with the captain for a while on Sunday and a lot of people came over and thanked him for bringing the ship to Oswego," said Pfund. "It made him, and me, feel very good."

"I thought it was pretty cool," said Stefan Mazuroski, 10, of Oswego.

"Me, too," said Willy Bertsch, 10, of Liverpool. "I thought it was really neat and pretty interesting."

When asked if they would be willing to sail the ocean in a ship the size of the Nina, Nick Bertsch, 8, said "I would."

"Maybe if you're a little crazy," said Mazuroski with a laugh.

The Nina's visit to Oswego was sponsored by the Oswego Maritime Alliance in cooperation with the Port of Oswego Authority, City of Oswego, Oswego County Promotion and Tourism Department, H. Lee White Marine Museum and the Oswego Maritime Foundation.

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Story Source: Palladium Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Brazil; Engineering; Maritime History



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