Morgan Sanger started a project of reproducing the three ships sailed by Christopher Columbus to America in 1992 as part of the 500th anniversary commemoration of Columbus' voyage. Now he and his son Stephen are proudly sailing replicas of two of Columbus's ships, visiting various ports in the United States to educate young Americans on their history.
Replicas Pinta and Nina, visiting America, one port at a time
Their mission is to 'bring history to life' by visiting one port at time. The father and son are captains of the Pinta and Nina, replicas of the ships on which Christopher Columbus sailed on his 1492 voyage.
The ships pulled into one of the ports, Pensacola, this week with dozens of onlookers gathered to welcome them. 'You realize how tiny they are compared to today's ships. To realize that people came across that huge ocean in such tiny ships and helped to build our country, it is just an amazing thing,' said Jim Taylor, a Pensacola man who was among those watching as the vessels made their approach in Pensacola Bay.
'These ships aren't much bigger than shrimping boats we use today,' Taylor said.
The Nina is an exact scale replica, at 65 feet long by 18 feet wide. The Pinta is slightly larger than its famous namesake.
The Sangers are from the British Virgin Islands, and Morgan Sanger's inspiration to build the ships stemmed from his time working at a shipyard there in the late 1980s. The original plan was to finish the three replicas in time for the 500th anniversary of Columbus' journey.
'It was a wooden boat shipyard where we repaired very expensive yachts. We got this idea for the quincentennial to build the ships, all three ships from 1492.' Morgan Sanger said.
However Sanger says funding became a problem and he no longer has plans to reproduce the third ship in the fleet — the Santa Maria.