El Galeon docked at the Alexandria Waterfront.
Photo by Vernon Miles.
Ships sail in and out of Alexandria’s marina every day, but over the weekend a special visitor dominated the harbor view. El Galeon sailed in for a brief stay on the waterfront before heading into D.C. and then down towards San Juan. The ship, built in 2009, is a re-creation of the 16th century Spanish naval vessel that acts as a roaming museum to the Spanish exploration and colonization of the Americas.
Sole Gea, who has sailed on the ship for four years, said her favorite part of the job is traveling around and meeting new people at every harbor. The sailing is the most difficult part, Gea said, with eight-hour watching shifts every day and turbulent seas that easily rock the ship. Particularly on a rounded ship like El Galeon, Gea said it’s very easy to get seasick. Carlos Quento and Marcos Barea also serve on the crew and also said the best part of sailing around was visiting new locations, though they agreed the work out at sea was often rigorous.