A replica of a Spanish galleon entering the harbor off downtown St. Augustine. While this is an authentic replica of vessels that were instrumental to the founding of our nation's oldest port, no ship this large could have ever entered St. Augustine due to our shallow and treacherous inlet.
Yesterday we got a phone call from a St. Augustine city official, asking if a LAMP research vessel could help escort into our inlet a replica Spanish galleon. We had already heard the news that our city was to feature a visit from the galleon, as part of Florida's 500th birthday celebration, and we have been looking forward to the day of its arrival! The galleon, named El Galeón Andalucía, is owned and operated by the Nao Victoria Foundation in Spain, and will be visiting four cities during its Florida tour. It measures 175 feet in length and is a 495 ton vessel. It is probably an accurate depiction of a medium to large sized galleon of the second half of the 16th century through first half of the 17th century.
Ironically, however, the sight of this galleon in our harbor, no matter how authentic the ship itself is, could never have been seen in our ancient city.