When San Geraldo and I were walking to the gym one afternoon last week, we spotted a 500-year-old ship in the harbour. He wondered aloud, jokingly, if it was the Santa Maria, while I wondered if it was the Niña (no votes for the Pinta).
|A FIRST GLIMPSE.|
It was enough that San Geraldo was walking to the gym, so I wasn’t going to tempt fate by asking him to take a sidetrip. Instead, I took a walk on my own a day later and discovered that the ship was a replica completed in 2011 of the Nao Victoria, the first ship to circumnavigate the globe. “Nao” means “carrack,” which was a three- or four-masted sailing ship developed in the 15th century.
The Victoria was built in the year 1512. The Spanish expedition, which began in 1519 and ended in 1522, was commanded by Portugal’s Ferdinand Magellan (who died during the voyage). They set off with five ships and a total crew of 265. Only the Victoria completed the journey, returning to Sevilla with 18 of its original 42-man crew returning (and its hold filled with exotic spices). Crew members scattered, mutinied, died, or were killed — either by each other or by native populations.
The replica was completed in 2011. For 3 euros, I was able to board and explore. Not a lot to see, really; it’s amazing how tiny these sea-going vessels used to be. But it was definitely worth the price.
|SUNDAY MORNING, I AWOKE TO THIS SIGHT AS THE VICTORIA HEADED
FURTHER INTO THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA.