Amerigo Vespucci was a Italian explorer about the same time as Columbus.
But America is actually his namesake, and the Italian Navy named a sailing ship for him.
I first saw the Amerigo Vespucci when she sailed up the Hudson in 1976 for our bicentennial celebration.
Forty-one years later and she returned, offering onboard tours to the public.
I didn’t even think twice.
She is 270 feet long, just 30 feet short of a football field.
Built in 1930, she has been active every year since except laying low during World War 2.
She looks big from the dock then feels much smaller once on board.
Rifles, lanterns, bugles and swords, what else does a young sailor need?
She can fly 26 different sails, requiring 30 kilometers of hemp rope to control them.
And there are four steering wheels, 2 men on each, for a total of 8 strong men to control her.
Her standard crew is 16 full officers, 70 non-commissioned officers and 190 workman sailors.
When she is in training her crew can top 450 with all the interns on board.
Vespucci is represented in more than just name, that’s him in gold leaf, full scale, on the bow of the ship.
Have a great weekend of smooth sailing!