Fuengirola embarks on a voyage back to the 16th century
On 8 September 1522, the Nao Victoria arrived into Seville with Juan Sebastián Elcano on board as the captain of the Spanish Armada (Fernando de Magallanes had been killed in the Philippines), becoming the first boat to circle the globe having left the city on 10 August 1519.
Of the five boats that left, with 245 crew members, the Nao Victoria was the only one to return with just 18 survivors on board.
An exact replica of the 16th century ship (26 metres long by 6.7 metres wide, with four posts and 285 square metres of sails) was on display at Fuengirola port over the weekend with visitors able to answer questions such as how they slept, what they ate, what afflictions they suffered from and what conditions they lived in without conveniences and technology.
“We don’t have any luxuries,” said Soleda Gea, one of the permanent crew members. “We sleep in bunk beds (there are 20) and we all share a passion for navigation.” Certain aspects, though, have inevitably come in line with 21st century needs: “We have safety equipment in the form of life rafts, radar, satellite telephones and GPS.”
The Nao Victoria, went around the world again from 2004 to 2006, emulating one of the greatest maritime feats of all time, even participating in the Aichi (Japan) EXPO of 2005.
Last year, it was the star of the show at the Tall Ship gathering of vessels from that period.
In the present day, the crew is made up of ten members, four of which are permanent: the captain Manuel Murube, from Seville; chief engineer Juan Morales, from El Puerto de Santa María (Cadiz); the boatswain José Gutiérrez, from Huelva; and the aforementioned head of logistics Soledad Gea, from Malaga. The rest is made up of a combination of students who want to get nautical miles under their belts and volunteers.
“I have been on the Nao Victoria since 2008,” said José Gutiérrez who cooks very well and who misses his son Pepe (they had been at high sea for seven days). “I took part in the construction of the galleon and Itook Nao to the Shanghai EXPOin 2010, the most important event for big ships in the world.”
The history of Spain
Visitors had to opportunity to climb on board for just three euros. “This is the history of Spain,” said an animated Juan José Santana, who lives in Los Boliches, enthralled by the opportunity to visit the first boat to go around the world on his own doorstep.source surinenglish