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The Captain and crew of the Santa María are facing challenges not unlike what early explorers faced in their efforts to navigate and sail the coast of La Florida in the 16th century.
Travel from Key West continues to be hindered by MotherNature. After a diversion to Cape Canaveral this week due to serious storms offthe coast, the Santa María’s attempt to restart their journey to Beaufort wasmet with volatile North winds in the gulf stream. After brave attempts to sailthe 500-year-old replica vessel against these conditions, the ship sustaineddamage and the safety of the crew was at stake. Therefore, the Captain returnedto Cape Canaveral for safe docking and ship repair.
Efforts to bring this vessel to Beaufort are still movingforward. The goal to provide an authentic, living history experience tovisitors is only heightened by the trials of this journey. Imagine withouttoday’s technology and weather forecasting what such voyages would be like.Bear in mind, the original Santa María, the flagship of Columbus, wasshipwrecked in 1492 in the Caribbean.
NEW DATES APRIL 6- APRIL 14
The new estimated dates for the port call in Beaufort arenow April 6 to April 14, with a travel route through the St. Helena Sound,which will be the final hurdle for the Captain and crew to overcome in order topass through the historic Woods Memorial swing bridge and dock at the downtownBeaufort sea wall.
The new dates again offer Beaufort the opportunity to havetwo weekends to board this floating museum. The Spanish Foundation has agreedto alter its entire schedule to ensure a port of call in Beaufort and areworking tirelessly to accommodate these changes that are out of anyone’scontrol.
Further, all of the community partners who are involved inthe significant effort of hosting the Santa María – from the City of Beaufortto O’Quinn Marine and United Infrastructure to Power Squadron, DNR and CoastGuard, and many others who offer an important piece to this modern-day puzzle –are ALL flexing their roles with the adjusted date range. The Santa ElenaFoundation is very grateful for all who are making this happen, especially withthe changing circumstances.
We wish to make this port of call happen and thank theCaptain and crew for their efforts under rough seas. We wish them well withship repairs and fair winds and following seas to Beaufort when the time isright.
Thanks to our supporters and the general public for theirunderstanding as well. This is even more of a history lesson than originallythought. To overcome the challenges this journey has presented will make thesight of the Santa Maria in Beaufort River even more remarkable.
Please continue following the Santa Elena Foundation’sannouncements for the latest information.
SHIPWRECK SYMPOSIUM APRIL 5
To learn more about Shipwrecks of the 16th century, please join us at the Center for the Arts on April 5, where we will showcase national level scholars and maritime research on ten historical shipwrecks during that century. Visit www.santa-elena.org for more information.