Remembering Columbus Day with the last Caravel Replica

Posted at 8:50 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 09:54:29-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Every day near the Corpus Christi bayfront, we are reminded about Christopher Columbus' journey to North America. That's because that's where La Niña, the last of what was once part of a three-ship fleet gifted from Spain in 1992, is moored.

The other two ships fell into disrepair from lack of upkeep. The Columbus Sailing Association is hoping La Niña avoids the same fate.

La Niña sunk after Hurricane Harvey and since, the maintenance has cost a high penny. Columbus Sailing Association president Kim Mrazek said it will cost another $27,000 just to take the ship across the bay to the Aransas Pass Shipyard. Once La Nina makes it to the shipyard, they can begin Phase I of restoration, which is renovating the entire main deck. Mrazek anticipates this happening in the next few weeks.

One San Antonio local, who saw the ships arrive in 1992, says he's disappointed to see the ship in such bad shape.

"We need to renovate stuff like this, we need to have it out, if you're gonna have it out to where people can see it," said Raymond Opella. "It needs to reflect positively not on our past but also on our communities."

Opella says it would be nice if the the ship had a marker to show what it is -- he said his grandson thought it was a pirate ship for a long time.

Marina Superintendent Gina Sanchez said in an email to KRIS 6 that they hope there will be something to report before Thanksgiving.

To donate to La Nina, you can do that here.