Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Columbus Replica Nina Needs Crew Vessel Available for Tours through Tuesday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Columbus Replica Nina Needs Crew Vessel Available for Tours through Tuesday

Article excerpt

Help wanted; no experience necessary; room and board provided; must be free to travel; pay $500 per month. Inquire aboard.

That's the sign that could be up at the Metropolitan Park docks in downtown Jacksonville near Alltel Stadium today through Tuesday.

The Nina, a 93 1/2 -foot-long replica of one of Christopher Columbus' ships on the voyage to the New World in 1492, is on display at the Jacksonville International Boat Show.

The ship, which leaves Tuesday night for a six-day stay at Palatka's city dock, needs crew.

"We're looking for two crewmen for sure, maybe three," First Mate Doc Kaisar said yesterday as dozens of schoolchildren on field trips were shown through the wooden, four-masted vessel.

"It's such a simple ship to sail that little experience is needed," said the 42-year-old native of Sheboygan, Wis., who joined the crew as cook four years ago. "Volunteers are welcome, too, but only crew who sign on for a minimum of 30 days are paid."

The Nina, 66 feet over the deck, 100 tons displacement and 17.3 feet wide, is owned by the British Virgin Islands-based Columbus Foundation and tours ports in the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America and the islands of the Caribbean. When it leaves Palatka, it'll travel to the Great Lakes with numerous stops along the way, the next at Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Next winter, it will be in the Caribbean, taking guests out on day sails, something it can't do in the United States because of Coast Guard regulations.

It carries 1,919 square feet of sail on four masts when fully rigged and has 32 tons of chiseled granite ballast.

"She sails quick and easy," said Allison Asher of Minneapolis, whose job on the present crew of four is cook and who, like everyone else aboard, is also a deckhand. "The fastest we've ever had her under sail is 12 knots," Kaisar said. …

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