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The Nina and the Pinta docked in Rensselaer

Nina and Pinta with Albany skyline in background

Not something you see everyday: Full-size replicas of the Nina and the Pinta -- two of the ships that accompanied Christopher Columbus on his first voyage across the Atlantic -- are docked at the Albany Yacht Club in Rensselaer. They'll be there through early Monday morning.

The ships will be open for tours Friday-Sunday 9 am-6 pm. Admission is $8 adults / $7 seniors / $6 students 5-16 / children under 4 are free.

The boats were built by hand in Brazil and are owned by the Columbus Foundation, an org based in the British Virgin Islands. They regularly go on tour from port to port -- they've been through here before. (The ships have diesel engines.)

After seeing the ships up close Friday afternoon we had same reaction as after seeing that replica Viking boat that was in Waterford last year: It's amazing people crossed oceans in ships like this.

The ships will head up the Hudson early Monday morning and make a stop at the Troy riverfront near the Dinosaur to have their masts removed by a crane. Then around noon they'll start their way along the Erie Canal, with a planned overnight stop in Schenectady. You can track the ship's progress via their Twitter feed.

Here are a few pics if you're curious...


They're at the top in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

Why no Santa Maria?

From the info flyer handed out at the ships:

The Columbus Foundation does not have one for three reasons: she never made it back to Europe. She is too big to make it through the waterways these ships go through and Christopher Columbus did not like the Santa Maria because she was very slow and clumsy. There are no plans to build her.

Well, then.

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