Are you aware that this year, 2013, marks the 500th anniversary since Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida? The state of Florida is doing some special things to commemorate the occasion, and while vacationing in St. Augustine last month, my family and I got to see one piece of the celebration. I wanted to share a bit about it with you.
|El Galeon, © Jennifer Uhlarik|
|Looking toward the stern, ©Jennifer Uhlarik|
|Bathroom. Was this authentic to the time period?|
On a side note, one of the interesting things we were told while vacationing was that many of the explorers’ ships were lost not to storms or running around, but rather to a particular type of clam, the shipworm or toredo worms, that lives in saltwater and eats wood. These worm-like clams would begin to bore into the wooden vessels, and over time, the ships would spring leaks. When the crew couldn’t stop the incoming water, they would inform the captain that the ship couldn’t be saved, so they would flag down their sister ships, abandon their own, and watch it sink as they sailed away. After stepping foot on such a magnificent ship as El Galeon, I can only imagine the heartbreak such a sight would cause.
|Tall ship! ©Jennifer Uhlarik|
While El Galeon has departed from St. Augustine as of July 23, my understanding is that the crew will be sailing up the eastern seaboard for the next 3-5 years on tour. If you missed the ship in Florida, you might still have an opportunity to see it in another eastern port. And we also were told that El Galeon had petitioned to make St. Augustine its home port while not out touring. At the time we were there, the petition was being considered, but no decision had been made. Hopefully those in power will allow it, as it seems only fitting to me that such a ship should make historic St. Augustine home. You can find more impressive photos here.
|Ship's bell. ©Jennifer Uhlarik|
Now it’s your turn. Have you ever been onboard a boat or ship (including small boats or cruise ships)? What was your experience like?
|Interesting view of Anastasia Island from El Galeon.|