Greatest Ships in World History on Display in Knoxville, TN

   The original Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria used by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage across the Atlantic were common trading vessels. The Santa Maria, which Columbus never liked, ran aground and sank on Christmas Eve 1492 in Hispaniola (now Cape Haitien). She was a Nao, atype of cargo vessel. The Nina, and Pinta were Caravels, and were used by exployers during the Age of Discovery. The Pinta returned home and disappeared from history without a trace, but the Nina; now theres a woman with a past.
   In 1988, an American engineer and maritime historian, John Patrick Sarsfield, began building what was to become the first truly, historically correct replica of a 15th Century Caravel, John had discovered a group of master shipbuilders in Bahia, Brazil who were still using design and construction techniques dating back to the 15th Century.
It was in Valenca, Brazil, using only adzes, axes, hand saws, and chisels, in addition to naturally-shaped timbers from the local forest, that the Sarsfield Nina was built.
   Jonathon Nance, a British maritime historian and main researcher for the project, produced a sail ship, which represents the Nina as she would have appeared during the eight recorded busy years of her life following her departure from the Canary Islands in September 1492.
   The Santa Clara A.K.A. Pinta was built in Valenca 16 years later to accompany the Nina on her tours of the western hemishere. Built in the same shipyard with the same shipwrights, the Pinta & the Nina are two of the “greatest ships in world history”.
On Monday, November 15th, the ships will sail to Mississippi for their next stop.
(click on photos below)

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