BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - History sailed into Biloxi Monday as two of Columbus' ships, the Nina and the Pinta, docked at the Schooner Pier. The Biloxi Schooner Mike Sekul escorted the two ships to the dock.
History buffs were in heaven as the two traveling replica ships sailed into the Sound.
"We just love bringing history to the Gulf Coast, and that's what both boats are about. And that falls right in line with our history of the seafood industry here," said Robin Krohn, Executive Director of the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum.
Krohn said the timing is perfect for these floating museums to visit the Gulf Coast.
"They're coming between Christmas and New Year's... There will be a lot of families visiting other families here, so it's really going to be a neat family affair," said Krohn.
The most historically accurate replica of a Columbus ship ever built is the 72 ton Nina. It tops out at seven miles an hour.
"Started construction in '88 finished in '91 and took 20 men 32 months to build her only using hand tools, and those same techniques that were used 500 years ago that were used to build the original," said Stephen Sanger.
Sanger serves as First Mate on the recently built Pinta. He said that ship is 100 tons, and was built in Brazil to accompany the Nina on her travels.
"And the Pinta, she's built a little bigger than scale. She's about 50 percent bigger, volume wise, than the original," said Sanger.
Each ship sails with six crew members to make for a safe voyage. While the ships are a sight to see, Krohn said they are also an important lesson.
"The children need to come see what actually brought Christopher Columbus to discover America," Krohn said.
The Nina and the Pinta will be docked at the Schooner Pier in Biloxi for the public to tour. The ships are open every day beginning Tuesday, December 21 from 9am until 5pm. They will end the tours January 2nd.