Columbus replica ships open for tours through Sunday

nina and pinta

The Nina, left, and Pinta will be docked at the Morehead City Waterfront through Sunday.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 02:18 PM.

Bobby Stephens grew up in Eastern North Carolina and has been around boats all his life.

That’s what drew him to the Niña and the Pinta Monday on the waterfront in Morehead City.

The boats, 65- and 85-feet-long, are replicas of two of the three sailing vessels brought by Christopher Columbus on his 1492 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of the New World.

“I was born and raised here,” Stephens said.  “I’ve always just tooled around in the cuts. I’ve never been an ocean person.”

Stephens said he couldn’t imagine making a trip across the ocean in such relatively small ships.

“It’s not seaworthy unless it’s got a casino and a buffet on it,” Stephens said in reference to cruise ships.

The black-hulled, wooden boats appeared to be well built and sturdy, though, and Stephens was impressed with the seamanship of the sailors more than 500 years ago.

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