Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Nao, Victoria?

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.

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, toria...

19 comments:

  1. We went on a tour of a replica of one of those early ships (in the Baltimore Harbor)... the bunks were too short for folks these days... and the ceilings and doorways were so low... fun to tour, but interesting to see how much we've "grown" over the years.

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    1. Sharon:
      Yes, the bunks were so short. But they were some tall people in those days. Imagine how much THEY suffered.

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  2. Those replica ships are so neat - and particularly beautiful when going off into the sunset. I love that last picture.

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    1. Cheapchick:
      There was something magical about waking up to that sight.

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  3. That would have been a grim trip back in the day.

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    1. Wilma:
      I can't begin to imagine. And I complain about air travel now (and will continue to complain).

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  4. I love visiting old ships. A replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind was in Portland once and I enjoyed it tremendously.

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    1. Stephen:
      Interesting. I've never seen Sir Francis Drake's golden hind. I guess he like to sunbathe nude.

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  5. It truly is amazing how cramped these ships were. Wouldn't have wanted to be 'recruited' on one of these! Maybe they,the men, were shorter and smaller back then.
    Loved your photos and I had wondered if there were surfers using your beach.

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    1. Jim:
      People were mostly shorter and smaller but still! I'm surprised by how much surfing there is along our beach. It's even bigger closer to the Atlantic, but still very popular here. Samuli (the sauna guy) is a big surfer and enjoys living in Cádiz for just that reason.

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  6. Not exactly the Princess of the Seas with water features and 12 theme bars but none the less a marvelous feat of engineering for the time. Many thanks for taking us on board.

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  7. Had the opportunity to tour the Star of India when I was in my teens and have dreamed of sailing (briefly) on a tall-master since... Fortunately, I'm not prone to seasickness.

    The Kinks! You just made my day! =D

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    1. Cranky:
      I was on the Constitution in Boston and thought THAT was old and small. Nearly 200 years 'newer' than this and a lot smaller. Victoria was no more than 69 feet long. Constitution was 304 feet long. Amazing.

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  8. I visited a similar ship, the Half Moon, back in 2006. It's a replica of Henry Hudson's ship that sailed up the river that now bears his name in 1609, essentially founding my home town where the river stops being navigable. As you said, it is amazing how small those ships were, especially considering where they sailed.

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I would love to see the Half Moon. I grew up on stories of Henry Hudson. And when it thundered, we were told that was Henry Hudson and his men bowling in heaven.

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  9. I wonder if the saga of the Spanish Armada being defeated by the English fleet of Elizabeth the First in 1588 is taught as prominent an event in Spanish history as it is in British schools. I should imagine the Spanish have a quite different take on that conflict - or prefer to forget it altogether. (Nah nah na-NAH nah!)

    Ah, the Kinks 'Victoria'. I still don't have sound but I can well recall it. Golden years!

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    1. Ray:
      I'll ask around to find out what they've been taught and are being taught here. I just won't say, "Nay nah na-NAH nah."

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  10. fascinating. I would like to go on board to appreciate their smallness.

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