The Galeon Andalucia has been visiting the Chesapeake Bay this past two weeks. First coming up to Baltimore for the Star Spangled Spectacular, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.
Following the ten day celebration, the Andalucia sailed south to Annapolis and has been docked next to the Naval Academy. A truly beautiful sight, old within the new. A 16th century styled galleon next to modern yachts
The morning was bright and sunny with blue skies and the waterfront beginning to bustle with visitors and locals alike. Sunday mornings in Annapolis is a leisure morning with dog owners coming out with their unique pets, and exotic car owners park for Cars and Coffee. The Andalucia stood overall, watching stoically as the town came alive with activity.
After seeing the galleon several times, it was time for me to get on and explore the inside. Built in 2010 to the original specifications of Spanish Galleons used in the West Indies, this ship was popular for pirates to hijack and make it their own.
The masts stood tall and strong in the blue skies, miles of ropes intertwined throughout.
With four masts, ten canons and seven sails the Galeon Andalucia is a force to be reckoned with. The front and back upper decks slope towards the center of the ship. Standing on the bow, I could feel the gentle movement of the water below and imagined what it was like to be a Spanish sailor in 25 foot ocean swells. Bouncing high and low on the open seas.
A custom bell hangs for signaling when needed.
Heading below in the canon area, I learned that 70 to 100 sailors would ‘try’ to sleep in hammocks attached to the low ceiling above the canons. No showers, snoring sailors, moving sea conditions. Hopefully exhaustion from working on the deck lended sleep to the hard working seamen.
It was a thrill to be on her deck finally and have my footsteps walk the plank that many more before me have done. If you ever get a chance to be near where the Galleon Andalucia is docked for visitation, it’s well worth the trip.