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Barra de Navidad & Melaque Journal - March 07, 2020

Nao Santa Maria

The Barra de Navidad marina has been proudly hosting one of the most stunning sailboats townsfolk have ever seen up close.

The Nao Santa Maria is a replica of the flagship of the famous fleet of the journey of Christopher Columbus sailing under the flag of Spain. According to historians, the original Santa Maria ran aground on Christmas Eve 1492 off an island in the Caribbean, but this beautiful replica has a much different destiny.

pg27Today’s Santa Maria lwas aunched from Spain in March 2018 and sailed with a crew of 17 as part of the historic replica fleet of the Nao Victoria Foundation in Seville. Once across the Atlantic, she docked in old San Juan, Puerto Rico before embarking on a voyage around the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. East Coast and into the Great Lakes.

The first part of the trip lasted almost two years, sailing from port to port and sharing the Spanish maritime culture. Today’s Santa Maria can reach speeds of five knots with all the sails open just like the original, but this one is equipped with two engines. 

The Santa Maria is a 95-foot nao, a centuries-old vessel type known in Great Britain as a carrack. Built to the real size of 200 tons, it is 29 meters in length, with eight meters of sleeve, three masts and a bowsprit.

With five decks, it is built with wood of iroko and pine.


The Nao Santa Maria will be playing a star role, along with replicas of smaller wooden boats, in a continuing series made for television produced by Stephen Spielberg and Amazon. The series, titled “Mexica,” is an account of the conquest of Mexico and will begin filming in the Costalegre later this month.

The series is casting men and women of all ages, so if you’re interested in trying your hand as an actor or extra, you can apply online at mexicacostalegre.juliotoledo.com or send your picture and information to 332-111-7995 on WhatsApp. You can also apply on Facebook by going to extrascastingmexico. Include a frontal photograph with no glasses, hat or loose hair. Include your name, age, height, phone number and where you live. For more information, email Julio at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Beccas for Barra, the local scholarship program, is hosting a benefit show on Monday, March 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hotel Cabo Blanco.

Wendy and the Bandidos will be opening, with Salvador Barajas on drums, followed by Alfredo Garcia The Wolf Blues. There will be a 50/50 draw for cash and prizes as well as a silent auction. Tickets are 100 pesos and can be purchased through Linda Bello Ruiz, Wilf Brousseau, David Marshal, Hotel Cabo Blanco, Froys Restaurant and Hotel Barra.