In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue but he never set foot in North America.
Now, carbon copy replicas of his fleet of ships will do what Columbus didn’t — make landfall in the New World. The ships will be in Saint Marys, Georgia, more than 500 years after the explorer first set sail from Spain.
The Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria weathered the high seas with Columbus at the helm for his first of three voyages.
The Santa Maria ran aground and sank during that first voyage, which was fine with Columbus because according to historians he hated that ship, and the Pinta returned home only to vanish.
However, the Nina was the explorer’s favorite and accompanied him on further excursions. St. Mary’s Mayor John Morrisey said that’s what makes the Nina replica the most accurate — it survived the longest.
“The Columbus Foundation that helped bring all of this together actually located craftsmen in Brazil that had a lot of the same skill sets and knew how to craft this,” he said. “So, the Nina is an exact replica.”
The Pinta and Santa Maria are slightly larger than scale, he said. All three replica ships will be docked at Lang’s Marina on St. Mary’s Street and made available for tours Thursday through Easter weekend until Monday.
Tickets for adults are $8; seniors, $7; students ages 16 and younger, $6; and children ages 5 and younger get in free.