El Galeon, a replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon, arrived for a visit in St Augustine on May 21. St Augustine is honored to be one of only four Florida stops for the lovely and unique vessel in observance of the state’s 500th birthday.
While St Augustine is well-known for its pirate history, El Galeon isn’t necessarily representative of a pirate ship. She represents the type of ship that brought St Augustine’s founder, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, as well as its first colonists, to the shores of Florida. Such a ship was the workhorse of its day, well able to carry provisions, artillery, soldiers, and settlers to an unknown land.
The ship’s crew consists of mostly volunteers, and the ship’s sponsor is Fundacion Nao Victoria of Spain, an organization that provides educational opportunities to learn about Spain’s contributions to colonizing the New World. Happily, the crew found plenty of St Augustinians who are already well aware of those contributions, and were just plain excited to see the ship, and to board her and explore all 170 feet and 495 tons of her.
Prints of the above photo are available here: El Galeon with a Full Moon.