Columbus ship replicas dock in Lake Charles

The Nina and The Pinta

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If you drive by the Lake today, you may notice two ships docked. The Nina and The Pinta, replicas of two of Christopher Columbus's fleet of ships in 1492.

The ships sailed into port for their official arrival Thursday morning April 19.

"It was all done by hand tools, the same way it would have been built 500 years ago," Captain of The Nina Kyle Friauf said about how the ship was built. The Pinta on the other hand was built using a bit more modern methods, but still a very good replica. The Pinta is also 10 to 12 feet larger than the original.

Friauf has been the captain of The Nina for 6 years, starting his journey as a crewmember.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to get an understanding for the type of difficulties and things they had to do to cross and discover a new world back and forth between the continents 500 years ago," Friauf said.

Both ships are traveling museums sailing port to port and together both ships have sailed more than one million miles around North America.

"We've traveled all over North America from Panama to Canada, East Coast, West Coast, Great Lakes and all the rivers. And we do essentially up the East Coast in the spring, down through the Great Lakes in the summer, all the way down the rivers in the fall and the Gulf Coast for the winter time," Friauf said.

A year round adventure, with the help of volunteer crewmembers, the ships sail with ease to their destinations.

Diki Jines of Lake Charles was the only crewmember from the Lake Area aboard The Nina. He traveled with ship and crew for two and a half months.

"It was a great adventure. I enjoyed it. It was something sort of like a bucket list thing but it was an adventure," Jines said. "I'm glad I did it."

An adventure Christopher Columbus himself would approve of.

The Nina and The Pinta will be docked along the lake until May 8. Ships will open to the public April 20. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, $6 for ages 5 through 16 and free for children 4 and under.

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