Each year, the first weekend in May brings the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Did you know that more than 80% of the Florida Atlantic shrimp is still harvested in the water here?
Enjoy arts and crafts, food, entertainment, and of course, plenty of shrimp. The activity is downtown along historic Center Street, and admission is free.
Last weekend, visitors to Fernandina Beach, FL were treated to tours of two replica ships given by the Columbus Foundation. Here are some interesting facts and pictures from the event:
Both of the replica ships were built in Brazil by a group of master builders using design and construction techniques dating back to the 15th century.
Construction began on the Nina in 1988. The Pinta was built 16 years later to accompany the Nina on her tours. The replica ships have no home port because they are on tour 11 months a year.
The Pinta is the larger ship at 85′; the Nina is 65′ in length. The ships are black because they were coated in pine tar, a natural water resistant. They have auxiliary power to use when traveling between destinations, but can sail when there is a strong aft wind and a big body of water.
The crew are volunteers from all over America, and the Columbus Foundation is always looking for more! You may apply online at thenina.com.
The Pinta returned home from the 1st Voyage and disappeared from history. The Nina accompanied Christopher Columbus on the 2nd Voyage, and Columbus chose her as his flagship for his voyage to Cuba. She was the only vessel to survive a 1495 hurricane in West Indies, and returned to Spain in 1496.
There are no plans at present to build a replica of the Santa Maria, as she would be too big to make it through the waterways where the other ships travel. Also, it appears Christopher Columbus did not like her and called her slow and clumsy.
Fernandina Harbor is located at the base of historic Centre Street. After leaving Fernandina, these ships will travel to Savannah.
Seafood and Sailboats will grace Florida’s First Coast this weekend. In St. Augustine, there is the Lions Seafood Festival Friday through Sunday. There’s an Arts and Crafts Village, live entertainment, and lots of seafood.
In Fernandina, visitors can tour not one, but two replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships. The Nina, and her larger sister, the Pinta will be docked at the base of Centre Street through Monday.