An Outer Banks fishing charter captain spotted an eerie sight out in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday.
Turns out it wasn’t a pirate ship or anything nefarious or supernatural. The crew confirms what Carolina Girl Sportfishing saw was the tall ship Nao Santa Maria, a full-scale replica of the flagship led by explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492.
The Nao Victoria Foundation designed and built the replica Santa Maria in 2017 and it has been touring around seaports all over the U.S. in recent years. She was docked in Ocean City, Maryland and open for tours for most of August, then spent some time in Yorktown, Virginia.
The tall ship showcases what would have been viewed as a modern invention 550 years ago, officials in Ocean City said.
“Setting sail on a voyage to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the 1400s was like sending astronauts to space in the 21st century,” officials said in a news release.
The crew of the Nao Santa Maria says the ship’s next stop is Brunswick, Georgia.