Replicas of Columbus's famous ships dock in S. Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been more than 500 years since Columbus sailed across the Atlantic, but this weekend it's possible to see replicas of the Nina and Pinta in South Portland.

The Nina is an exact replica, built by hand by 20 men in Brazil over the course of 32 months. It was finished in 1992 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus's crossing. The Pinta is a little larger than the actual ship was, but not by much. On board, you can try your hand at the tiller, talk to the crew, and learn about life in 1492.

Columbus spent eight years of his life with the boats, covering 25,000 miles. The modern day crew may not have spent that much time on board, but they do have some stories. Stephen Sanger, the captain of the Nina said, "We just came down from Camden, and we were facing four to six foot swells out in the Atlantic, blowing about 25 knots. We were rolling around pretty good. Things were rolling around below, but for the new crew it was definitely an eye-opening experience."

The Nina and Pinta are at South Port Marine, 14 Ocean Street South in South Portland, starting Thursday, July 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily until July 11. Adults are $8, senior citizens are $7 and kids 5 to 16 are $6.

Why no Santa Maria? The ship's too big to be docked in South Portland.


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