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The nao Victoria sailed from Denia and yesterday docked in the port of Ibiza. It was a comfortable crossing, with only a little sea in the background when leaving. Last night, the director of the Nao Victoria 2019 Tour, Pedro Jiménez, relates that they witnessed a surprising scene: the sea was illuminated with an intense blue color. They were passing over thousands of sailboat jellyfish, fluorescent at night. The scene from the distance should be a pirate tale, a 16th century ship under the starry sky, crossing luminous waters.
The Victoria replica, the first boat to go around the world between 1519 and 1522, will be open to the public until next Sunday at the Levante dock in the port of Ibiza, next to the Plaza de es Martell. Visiting the sea costs 5 euros for adults and 3 euros for children. The funds raised are for the non-profit foundation ‘Nao Victoria’, responsible for publicizing historic vessels.
The boat was built in 1991 for its premiere at the Seville Expo of ’92. A work in which they tried to use the same materials that were used in the sixteenth century. The ropes are tarred, for the joint of the woods (caulking) hair of horsetail and fish (sardine paste) was used. The mustaches, pieces in the shape of a drop that serve to join ropes, are covered with skin.
All this is kindly explained by the members of the crew, who insist from time to time on the visitors: «whatever you want to know, ask». When making the visit one can count on your kindness to understand any curiosity. Even so everything is perfectly explained in this boat-museum, through signage and six points with QR codes that give access to a free audio guide via mobile phone.
A ‘Ferrari’ of the time
In spite of its showy image, with a castle in prow and another one in stern, Pedro Jiménez explained yesterday in the visit that did for authorities and press, that the boat was “a Ferrari of the time”. A very fast boat, but that requires wind in stern to be able to sail. As all its square sails, it is necessary for the wind to blow from behind the boat, unlike ships with triangular sails that can take advantage of other winds.
When conditions permit, they navigate by sail, but if it is not possible, the Victoria has engines, which are otherwise necessary under maritime regulations to enter the port.
On the stern castle is the captain’s cabin and also the command to handle the rudder. One of the peculiarities that surprises many is that there is no wheel to steer the boat, but a vertical pole called pinzote. A lever that moves the rudder and that requires that there is always one or two people controlling it.
Although now the crew sleeps in the bodegas part, Jiménez tells that in the time of Hernando de Magallanes and Juan Sebastián Elcano, when the five naves of the Species Armada departed in search of a route to the Maluku Islands in the west, 40 men of the crew slept on deck. The warehouses were always closed to prevent water from entering that could cause the merchandise to rot.
The Victoria Ship, in addition to a floating museum, is a school ship. Most of the volunteers that make up their crew do so to cover the sailing hours required in different nautical degrees.
This is the case of Jaime, who conducts merchant marine studies. During the voyage he performs the practical navigation hours he needs to obtain the title. However, as for all crew members, sailing in the Victoria is a privilege. He also tells that he is the second generation of his family that embarks on this ship. First he did his father, who participated in the round the world that the Nao Victoria completed between 2004 and 2006. A feat that emulated the original Victory and also became the first replica of a historic ship that goes around the world.
For Cynthia it is her second stop on board Victoria. She is also a volunteer who performs her browsing hours. Probably in Ibiza direct your first visit with the public to the nao.
According to Jiménez, there are many people who request to do their internship in La Victoria. Doing the hours of navigation on this ship is free, unlike what happens in many others, and “certainly has much more charm than going under the cover of a merchant ship.” In addition, classic navigation methods are widely used in this vessel, such as the use of the astrolabe or the sky to orient itself.
The crew itself is responsible for the maintenance of the ship, a job that takes place every day between 7 and 10 in the morning. Also every two months they are responsible for renewing the caulking. Some works that allow you to know all the details of this historic vessel.
Source: Periodico de Ibiza