Columbus replica ships open for tours through Sunday

Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 02:18 PM.

Eric Phifer brought his 4-year-old son Monday to see the boats.

“I just wanted to show my son how ships have evolved from when they were built centuries ago versus today’s modern boats and what they had to go through to hand-craft a boat like this to make it seaworthy,” he said. “It took a lot more time, energy and effort to do things to make it seaworthy, versus today when you can just turn a key and go on about your business.”

Kaylee Soud, a deckhand on the Niña, spent part of the afternoon recoiling lines on the foremast of the vessel. The college anthropology major said the Niña is “like working on a museum.”

“I like working line and rigging,” she said. “I like working with the 15th century maritime technology. I like the history.”

She said traveling on the ship is quite an experience.

“It is quite a voyage,” she said. “The boat is rocking and rolling each way. We have three-hour watches, three hours on deck and three hours below and you had better be sleeping in that time or you’re going to be too tired. Somebody steers, somebody’s on the bow watching and somebody’s running back and forth communicating between the two.

“Adventure has always been a big thing for me and it happened to be a good time in my life to go. I took a break from school. I needed a break from school. I wanted to do some hands-on learning for once instead of book work. I had a friend on board who told me all about it and I decided this is the best time to do it.”

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