If you made plans to get a good look at the Santa Maria this week in Beaufort, you can thank Mother Nature for dashing your plans.
Rough weather off the Atlantic coast has delayed the ship’s arrival by a week out of concerns for the safety of the crew and ship.
As a result, the replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship will now be docked in downtown Beaufort from Saturday until Monday, April 14, giving interested patrons two weekends to board the floating museum.
The Spanish Foundation agreed to alter its schedule to ensure a port of call in Beaufort.
The challenges for the ship and its crew are not unlike what early explorers faced in their efforts to navigate and sail the coast of La Florida in the 16th century.
After a diversion to Cape Canaveral this week due to serious storms off the coast after leaving Key West, the Santa María’s attempt to reach Beaufort was met with volatile winds. After an attempt to sail the replica of the 500-year-old vessel against these conditions, the ship sustained damage and the safety of the crew was at stake. Therefore, the Captain returned to Cape Canaveral for safe docking and ship repair.
The original Santa María, the flagship of Columbus, was shipwrecked in 1492 in the Caribbean.
The ship will sail through the St. Helena Sound, pass through the historic Woods Memorial swing bridge and dock at the downtown Beaufort sea wall.
If you purchased a ticket online, you can use that ticket any day to take a tour.
Follow the Santa Elena Foundation for any updates at www.santa-elena.org.