EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – You have probably heard the saying, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”. But fast-forward to 2023. Instead of the ocean blue, it’s the Ohio River at the Nu Plaza Yacht Club where history comes alive in the form of a touring replica of the Pinta.
“All the rigging, the way she’s rigged up and the design of the hull of the ship is all exactly the same,” says Pinta’s captain Stephen Sanger.
The Pinta is one of three ships Christopher Columbus used to discover the world. Sanger says the ship was constructed in Brazil by 8th generation Portuguese shipwrights using the same tools and methods from the 15th century.
“It took 3 years to construct the ship,” explains Sanger, “and we travel about 9 months out of the year to about 30 different locations educating the public about the Portuguese caravel and life on board for those 26 crew that all work, ate and slept out on the main deck.”
Steve Funkhouser took part in a tour and says the Pinta was larger than he anticipated. Funkhouser, who was touring with his wife Patty and their great-granddaughter, were hoping to create new memories nearly 2 decades after sharing a similar experience.
“About 20 years ago, we took our grandkids,” recalls Funkhouser. “I believe it was on the Dress Plaza, the Nina was there. It was an experience they remember, and so we thought we’d bring our great-granddaughter over and have the same experience.”
Several Tri-State school groups also visited the replica ship. Sanger says the Pinta provides an opportunity for students’ textbooks to come alive.
“The kids will learn about it in the classroom, they’ll read about it in books, but to be able to walk on board, touch and feel, it gives you, just be able to have a much better perspective on what life was like back in the 15th century,” says Sanger.
Tours will be available from 9am to 5pm daily through Sunday May 21. The cost is $8 for adults, with a senior citizen and military discount option available for $7. Students between the ages of 5 and 16 can tour for $6, and kids 4 years and younger get on board for free.