El Galeon of St Augustine arrives in the Big Apple

973B0747Fundacion Nao Victoria manager Eduardo Almagro Blanco, documented for Historic City News readers the arrival of St Augustine’s newest educational ship, El Galeon Andalucia, as it made its way up the Hudson River to arrive in New York City on Saturday.

The replica of a 16th Century Spanish galleon was a guest of the City of St Augustine at the Municipal Marina from May 21 until Monday, July 22 — a stay that, because of community interest and participation, was extended three times.

“Perhaps you could make a press release telling this historical event, El Galeon of St Augustine arrives in the Big Apple,” Blanco wrote. We were honored to oblige Eduardo’s request.

This is the first time the great sailing vessel has visited New York and according to all accounts, the crew is very excited to be visiting.

St Augustine was introduced to El Galeon as part of a state initiative, the “Viva Florida 500” commemoration of Juan Ponce de Leon’s arrival on Florida’s historic coast. What makes this anniversary so unique is that the convoy of explorers was the first group of Europeans to document such a landing and give a name to Florida.

As El Galeon Andalucia clearly outperformed its anticipated success in St Augustine; and, thanks to the warm reception by students and their parents who visited, plans to establish St Augustine as the North American home port of El Galeon, and possibly other ships of Fundacion Nao Victoria, have progressed.

From New York, El Galeon sets sail for San Juan Puerto Rico and a waiting film project.

“I am planning to visit St. Augustine at the beginning of September to discuss the new projects that we are working on,” Blanco wrote. City officials are hopeful that El Galeon Andalucia will officially be a “semi-permanent” resident, making St Augustine its east coast home port while in North America.

Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News contributed photograph by Fundacion Nao Victoria

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