El Galeon Hosts Space Coast Business Leaders
By Space Coast Daily // May 9, 2013
VIVA FLORIDA 500
ABOVE VIDEO:As part of the Viva Florida 500 celebration marking the five-century history of the Sunshine State, a full-sized replica of the ships that served as the workhorses of the Spanish Empire at the time of Ponce de Leon sailed into Port Canaveral on May 2 to kick off a two-month visit at four ports along the Florida coast.
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — The Space Coast Office of Tourism hosted a gathering of local business leaders aboard El Galeon, a 16th Century, wooden Spanish galleon replica, docked at The Cove in Port Canaveral.
The ship is touring the state’s East Coast in celebration of Viva Florida 500 – the anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s historic arrival in Florida 500 years ago.
LIVING PIECE OF HISTORY
El Galeon is a living piece of history that thousands of visitors have toured during its dockage at Port Canaveral, which began on May 2.
The 170-foot, 495-ton, wooden galleon replica sailed into Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast on May 2 and will be on display through May 12.
Viva Florida 500 is working with Fundación Nao Victoria and the state’s regional visitor bureaus to coordinate the El Galeon tour. The ship will be in Ft. Lauderdale (May 14-19) and St. Augustine (May 23-June 3).
A crew of 34 sailed the great ship across the Atlantic Ocean for 17 days to arrive in the Americas.
“We really are having a great experience here in Brevard,” said Manuel Murube Fernandez of the El Galeon crew.
Another El Galeon crew member, Francisco Munoz commented on how hospitable the local Brevardians have been. “Everyone is so kind and welcoming.”
Crew member, Ulises Custodio has enjoyed the Space Coast beaches during his stay in Brevard County.
“The beaches are very beautiful beaches here, so natural and clean,” said Custodio.
IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUED EXPLORATION
As Kennedy Space Center is the backdrop for the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibition (June 29), El Galeon’s arrival to the Space Coast and Cape Canaveral reinforces the importance of continued exploration.
Local business leader, Tom Williamson and his wife Diane, along with Bob Baugher and Chip Eickman enjoyed the tour aboard El Galeon.
“This is a wonderful reminder of the great history of our country and of Spain – this has been a terrific event for our area,” said Wlliamson.
Like the sailors aboard the El Galeon, the Astronauts with NASA have also spent their lives in discovery of new worlds. For this reason, the ship’s visit to Cape Canaveral is particularly significant.
“This is such a well made vessel and it gives you a great feeling of what it must have like to live 500 years ago, ” said Baugher.
Chip Eickman of McBride Marketing Group commented on the impact that the touring vessel has had on the local community.
“Thousands of people have toured this ship and experienced the history that it conveys,” said Eichman. “We are so grateful to all the people that have made this happen.”
Alison Malone enjoyed the historic significance on display and marvelled at the architecture of the ship.
“She must be quite a sight under full sail,” said Malone.
Fishlips Restaurant provided delicious food and drink for the party and is a perfect location, right in the heart of the Cove, for the ship to be seen.
Bobby Socks enjoyed the ship tour also. “What a super event for our area this has been – I hope that we can continue to pay tribute to history with great events like this,” said Socks.
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