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May 26, 2004

Tall Ship To Visit Oswego

OSWEGO--Discover what it's like to stand on the deck of the Nina, the most historically accurate replica of a Columbus ship ever built. The Nina will visit the Oswego Historic Maritime District at the harbor end of West First Street, June 12 and 13. This will be the final Great Lakes tour for the Nina, and the last opportunity for Central New Yorkers to board this authentic historic vessel close to home. After this tour, she will be docked in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico to begin a day sailing career.

The Nina was Christopher Columbus' favorite ship, and logged at least 25,000 miles under his command. This replica was seen in the film "1492," directed by Ridley Scott. It spans 96 feet, has square sails on the main and foremast for sailing downwind, and lateen (triangular) sails on the mizzen masts with a Scandinavian style bow and midsection. It is a near perfect example of a caravel, a common trading vessel used during the Age of Discovery. Caravels were also used as warships, patrol boats, and even pirate ships. Their advantages were speed and maneuverability.

The replica of the Nina was built by the Columbus Foundation and was completed in December 1991. Ships of this period were not built from a set of plans but from the memory of the shipwright, who based the dimensions of the ship on a set of proportions. Different proportions, which varied by region, were used for different types of vessels, however, all were based on the length of the keel. Several important design details, including the number of masts and rigging specifics were clarified by data from recent discoveries of 15th and 16th century Spanish shipwrecks in the Caribbean.

Visitors can board the Nina from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 12 and 13 from its berth at the harbor end of West First Street, Oswego. Tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for students; $4 for seniors; and $3 for members of groups of at least 15 people.

The Nina's visit to Oswego is sponsored by the Oswego Maritime Alliance in cooperation with the Port of Oswego; City of Oswego; Oswego County Promotion and Tourism Department; H. Lee White Marine Museum, and the Oswego Maritime Foundation.

For more information on the ship and its history visit www.thenina.com.

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