Sunday, August 6, 2017

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Replica Spanish tall ship docks in Kingston


Hundreds, young and old, were welcomed aboard El Galeón on Saturday

KINGSTON - A replica Spanish galleon arrived at Rondout landing in downtown Kingston Saturday morning, hosted by the Hudson River Maritime Museum as part of a four-day exhibit. Opening day drew long lines of spectators, eager to visit the ship’s interior.

El Galeón Andalucía was launched November 2009 in Spain, after a meticulous historic design and construction effort which spanned nearly two years. Since that time, the wooden vessel has unfurled her sails all across the world.

“You can see a lot of people here, coming to see how Spanish sailors lived back in the day,” explained Bosco Bueno, press officer for the floating museum, speaking in a thick Spanish accent.   “The people who are on board, feel exactly the same, like the Spanish sailors back in the days,” Bueno said. “Our goal is to share with the people who want to know everything about our culture and history.”  

Similar galleons were used by the Spanish Crown between the 16th and 18th Centuries for New World maritime expeditions, establishing trade routes between Europe, America, and the Philippines.

The replica ship measures 160 long, 32 feet wide, with six sails, and 11,000 square feet over five separate decks. She can hold 500 tons with a crew of 15 to 35 people, and travels at 7 knots.

Sarah Wassberg, Maritime Museum education director, noted that U.S. Customs agents conducted and on-board inspection Tuesday morning, since the ship had arrived at Rondout Landing from Halifax, in Canada.

“I don’t think they had any treasure to declare with Customs, although the Customs guy did get a free tour, which was nice for him,” Wassberg laughed.

Dutch explorers, including Henry Hudson, discovered our local river valley in 1609, while searching for a Northwest passage to Asia, in order to undercut the Spanish trade routes. This galleon followed the same path upstate from New York harbor Tuesday morning, to reach Kingston.

Several thousand visitors in each city come to see El Galeón Andalucía -- a sight to behold with a 150-foot main mast towering above the waterfront. Admission is $10 for adult and $5 for students and children.

Bueno also confirmed that the ten guns carried on board shoot real cannonballs.

El Galeón Andalucía departs Kingston on Tuesday for one more stoop in the U.S. and then sails back to Europe.

 


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