It was a sight that would have left Christopher Columbus scratching his head.
Armed with iPods, about 20 Winona fourth- through sixth-graders Tuesday morning boarded the deck of the 15th-Century explorer’s Nina, using the technology to record video and take pictures of the vessel.
The students visited the replica boat on its last day of a nearly week-long stay in the city, along with the Pinta, as part of a field trip hosted by St. Stanislaus Elementary teachers. They planned to later return to the school and conduct further research online about Columbus, then use all of the information gathered during the day to create multimedia projects.
Eleven-year-old Viva Graff arrived at Levee Park curious, wanting to know what Columbus’ crew ate in the 1400s — rice, onions, jams, dried fish, among other provisions — and where they slept — on the deck of the boat.
“It’s really interesting to see how they lived,” Graff said.
No electricity. No beds. No iPods.
Ten-year-old Morgan Arnold was impressed with how the boats were constructed.
“It’s pretty cool that they built them with old-fashioned tools and their bare hands,” she said.
The opportunity to let his students see first hand how Columbus sailed across the ocean was one teacher and trip organizer Matt Feuerhelm couldn’t pass up.
“I think these are so phenomenal,” he said. “It’s such a gift to Winona that they stop here. Actually stepping out on the ships that (Columbus) sailed on is a mind-opening experience.”