Replicas of Christopher Columbus' ships arrive in Palmetto

Replica of Christopher Columbus' 'Nina' runs aground in Manatee River

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 4, 2013 

PALMETTO -- History sailed into Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto on Thursday afternoon.

Replicas of Christopher Columbus' Nina and Pinta docked in the marina shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, a couple hours after their scheduled arrival, after the Nina ran aground trying to come into the Manatee River.

"It's really nice to be here," Captain Morgan Sanger said.

The two replica ships will be on display and open for tours from Friday to April 15, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Sanger blamed the bad weather for the delay and the Nina running aground.

"We couldn't see anything and our radars were blanked out," Sanger said. "We just laid off until the rain let up and then we tugged the other ship off."

The Manatee River being too narrow was another factor, he said.

"If you are paying attention in good weather you can do it," Sagner said.

That was not the case Thursday.

The replicas were both built by the Columbus Foundation, which Sanger started. The Nina was built first between 1988 and 1991. It was built manually without the use of power tools. It is also considered the most historically accurate Columbus ship ever built.

The Pinta was built more recently between 2002 and 2006 and is larger in size.

Admission will be $8 for adults, $7 for seniors 60 years old and over, $6 for children ages 5 to 16 and children 4 years old and under are free.

Special rates of $5 per student are available for school groups who make arrangements ahead of time. Those interested in school bookings should call 787-672-2152.

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