Continuing from June – further pictures here of my visit to Spain’s reproduction galleon – El Galeon Andalucia – when alongside in Cartagena recently.
Giving a brief history of this type of vessel – they were utilised in convoy system of sea routes as organized by the Spanish Empire from 1566 to 1790 linking Spain with its territories in the Americas across the Atlantic.
The convoys were general purpose cargo fleets used for transporting a wide variety of items including agricultural goods, lumber, various metal resources such as silver and gold, oil, wine, textiles, books and tools.
In the opposite direction; pearls, spices, sugar, tobacco, silk and other exotic goods were transported from the overseas territories of the Spanish Empire to the Spanish mainland.
Galleons were large, multi-decked sailing ships first used as armed cargo carriers by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries during the age of sail and they were the principal vessels drafted for use as warships until the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the mid 1600’s.
Hammocks were provided as basic sleeping facilities for the general crew. Officers afforded more luxurious facilities. Food was very basic (as seen in the photo) and fresh produce soon rotted, although there was always a supply of wine and tobacco.
The ships were overcrowded with men and live animals. Scurvy was prevalent as were rats and fleas, making the journeys very dangerous with many men dying during the voyage.
Unfortunately in the short term at least, there still appears to be no cruise vessels scheduled, but later in the year hopefully there will be ‘action’ to report.