For several years I’ve been driving past this little sign just off Holcombe Boulevard… “Houston Maritime Museum –>” and, for several years, I’ve been making mental notes: Go Check This Out.
But mental notes are of limited use when you’re in the habit of losing your mind every week or so.
It’d been years and, well, I still hadn’t been there.
Still, it’s time to start exploring again, so when I ran across an announcement Saturday on “Social Media” that the Museum was opening an exhibit and admission was going to be free, the bell went off… Go See This.
I grabbed the cameras and headed out… and very shortly found myself being tucked in to a small tour group led by a genial and very well-informed/trained docent, Whit Drake.
When I arrived the tour was maybe a third over, and Mr. Drake was standing in front of a set of three models, discussing The Admiral of the Ocean Sea and his exploits (and exploitations)…
The model of La Niña (on the left) shows her in a full lateen-rigging with triangular sales, which was a surprise; I’d always seen her depicted with squared sails. A little research tells me that she was originally lateen-rigged as shown in this model but that she was reconfigured during a layover in the Canary Islands. Square rigging, at the time, was better for the open ocean voyages Columbus was making. Fascinating stuff, at least for weird techno-history nerds.