Many Americans learn about the history of Christopher Columbus in textbooks, but the 5th grade class from Holy Trinity Catholic School in Bay St. Louis, is leaving the classroom. Jeffrey Reisch, a 5th grade student at Holy Trinity Catholic School, says, "We are on a field trip, learning about the Nina and Pinta. It has been really fun so far. I learned that Columbus sailed a different ship from the Nina and Pinta." He's talking about the Santa Maria, which was too large for the Columbus Foundation to rebuild, so they've constructed what they call the most accurate Nina ever made. They sail to different ports around the United States, teaching children and adults the harsh reality of life on the ships during the discovery of America. Nicolas Boisdore, another 5th grade student, says, "He used these boats to sail across the ocean and to different countries and that his crew wanted to throw him over."
Most of the crew aboard these boats is volunteers, who spend months out of the year sailing these ships. Dylan Marshall, a deckhand, says, "I spent nine months on board in 2011, then took about a year off and came back just about a month ago." Marshall is a volunteer deckhand who says the most gratifying part of the job is teaching students firsthand about the importance of American history. Marshall also says, "We like to give school tours and educate the youth and tell the kids what it was actually like for people back then. A lot of people don't know how small these vessels actually were." It is projects like this that make sure history doesn't stay in books, but comes alive. Amelie Clark, another 5th grade student at Holy Trinity Catholic School, says, "I learned about the upper deck and stuff and went to the parts of the boat and learned where Columbus sailed." This was the ship’s last stop of the year before they go into dry dock. They will begin another 11 month journey in January.