On Thursday, Nov. 10, the "Pinta" and the "Nina," replicas of Columbus' ships will open in Chattanooga, Tenn. They will be docked at Chattanooga Pier, next to the Tennessee Aquarium, 100 Riverfront Parkway, until their departure early Monday morning, Nov. 28. They will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24.

The "Nina" was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship "the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built." The "Pinta" was recently built in Brazil to accompany the "Nina" on her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the 15th century.

Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced "sailing museum" for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the "caravel," a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world. Before him, the Old World and the New World remained separate and distinct continents and ever since, their fates have been bound together for better or for worse.

While in port, the public is invited to visit the ships for a walk aboard self-guided tour. Prices are $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and $6 for students 5-16. Children 4 and under free. Hours are daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. No reservations needed.

Teachers or organizations wishing to schedule a 30-minute guided tour with a crew member should call 787-672-2152 or email columfnd1492@gmail.com. Minimum of 15. $5 per person. No maximum. Visit ninapinta.org for more info.