Nina and Pinta off Anna Maria

Two 15th-century wooden sailing ship replicas passed Anna Maria Island today in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Nina and the Pinta left Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto this morning for their next port of call in Venice, making their way eventually to Florida’s east coast.

The wooden replicas of two of the three ships that Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to the New World in 1492 are built by hand; the Nina was created with no power tools, and the Pinta is 80 percent handmade. The caravels were built by eighth-generation Portuguese shipwrights in Valencia, Brazil.

The replica of the third member of the exploration party, the Santa Maria, is touring separately.