Spanish Galleon Replica El Galeon Visits Downtown Wilmington

El-Galeon-Spanish-Galleon-Replica-Ship-Wilmington-NCA 20-person crew sailed the 170-foot-long, 495-ton ship north to Wilmington, North Carolina, passing by Southport last Friday afternoon, August 14, 2015 as onlookers stopped to watch the Spanish replica pass by for the last leg of it’s journey to the Port City.

The term Galleon translates easily as “large ship” and has been used across many cultures including French, Spanish “Galeón” meaning armed merchant ship, Portugese Galeão or “war ship”, from Byzantine Greek Galea “galley.” The large ship currently visiting Wilmington is of the Spanish variety, and was designed in the 1550s to defend trade routes of Asian goods from Acapulco to Veracruz to the Carribean and on to Spain. The new design allowed for greater cargo capacity and more defensive capabilities as well as more maneuverability.

El Galeon was constructed by the Nao Victoria Foundation in 2006, when the foundation undertook the special project to reconstruct the ship to scale. Once completed, El Galeon has sailed the world and is based in the United States in Saint Augustine Florida. The crew lives aboard the ship 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides daily tours. The tours aim to tell the 500 year old story of events that have occurred since Ponce de Leon’s arrival in modern day Florida. The ship has many modern day conveniences for its full time crew including showers and bathrooms.

There are a few other modern additions including lighter weight anchors, diesel engines, hydraulic steering, and air conditioning that is used when in port during the evenings. The ship’s crew sails as often as possible to save fuel costs, and for the recreation factor, though the crew members are equipped with safety harnesses to climb up to release the sails.  The ship is also stocked with a treasure chest filled with fishing gear and allows fishing during excursions between ports. En route to Wilmington the crew was able to catch some tuna.

Wilmington visitors have been taking their turns touring the majestic 170-feet long ship that was completed in 2010 and enjoying the many details and history El Galeon has brought to the Port City. If you’d like to tour the ship prior to its departure, it will be in port in Wilmington through the weekend and the tours are running daily through Sunday, August 23 prior to taking off towards its next stop in Charleston, SC.

View the El Galeon Facebook page for updates and more information as well as photos of places that it has visited.

Take a look at Instagram user photos. Here are a couple of our favorites from Instagram user @GabiWooten.

El-Galeon-Cannon-Photo-Credit-GabiWooten

El-Galeon-Bell-Photo-Credit-GabiWooten

View a video of El Galeon:

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