PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria are names forever linked with Christopher Columbus and 1492.
More than five centuries after their historic voyage to the New World, visitors board replicas of two of those ships at Riverfront Park in the 21st century shadow of Heinz Field.
The Nina and Pinta are open for daily tours.
“No power tools were used whatsoever to build this ship,” says crewman Stephen Sanger of the Nina. “Using the exact same methods used 500 years ago to build the original.”
Sanger is one of six crewmen piloting the vessels for the Columbus Foundation. He opens a hatch.
“Down below, today, is where the crew of the Nina sleep. Behind those white curtains is three bunks on each side. We travel and live on these ships year round – travel all around the United States giving tours.”
Construction of Nina in Brazil was led by Pittsburgh engineer John Patrick Sarsfield.
“Unfortunately,” Sanger recalls, “during delivery of the main mast, he died in a car accident while it was being delivered. So this ship actually is dedicated to John Patrick Sarsfield.”
The Nina and Pinta are open for tours until October 4.