The year 2013 has a special anniversary for Florida. Exactly 500 years ago in 1513 the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the shores of Florida and named the land Florida due to the many wild blooming flowers he found there. Florida would then become home to the first permanent European settlement on the continent of North America. One of the many things happening to commemorate this occasion is the visit of a replica of a Spanish galleon to Florida. There is currently a replica of a 1526 Spanish galleon in the marina of Fort Lauderdale available for tours. Though this ship is larger than the caravel that Ponce de Leon used to find Florida, it is a wonderful insight into the types of ships that were used by explorers during the Age of Discovery and you can get a idea of what it was like to be a sailor back in the sixteenth century. Tours of the ship El Galeon are available for free here courtesy of Broward County.