Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Ship Named Mayflower!

After being in denial that the holidays were coming, I guess I can't deny it any further.  Thanksgiving is in two days and winter seems to have arrived out of nowhere too.  Today's forecast is rain with a high of 45 ... yes, it does get cold in Louisiana.  I need to get further South!

Since the purchase of Nirvana, I find stories about old sailboats to be pretty interesting.  With Thanksgiving this week, here's a re-post of the article that I wrote in 2010 about the Mayflower ... pretty cool.  You may also want to click on the "women" link below to read another interesting article that I wrote about what the women endured on these old ships ... we've come a long way!
Mayflower Replica
Now that Ken and I are sailboat owners, I found myself wondering about the Mayflower, which has played a major role in the history of Thanksgiving.  The Mayflower was a ship weighing about 180 tons crowded with men, women and children making the voyage to the "New World" in 1620. 

The first record available about the ship is somewhere in 1609. At that time it was a merchant ship, which traveled to Baltic ports, most notably Norway.  The ship's initial purpose was the transportation of goods such as fish, tar and lumber.  However, the ship was later used in the trading of Mediterranean wine and spices.

In 1620 the Mayflower and the Speedwell were hired to undertake a voyage to plant a colony in Northern Virginia.  The Speedwell turned out to be a leaky ship, and therefore the Mayflower had to make the voyage alone.  The captain of the ship was Christopher Jones, and the ship was anchored at Plymouth Harbor on November 11, 1620.  The Mayflower stayed at Cape Cod for four months and throughout the harsh winter.  During this time over half of the pilgrims perished!

The ship started sailing for home on April 5, 1621, and it arrived back one month later. The Mayflower made a few more trading runs to places such as Spain, Ireland and France. However the captain, Christopher Jones, died shortly thereafter.

After the death of the captain the Mayflower lay inoperative for about two years.  Since the ship was not in very good sailing condition, it was called "in ruins".  Ships "in ruins" were considered more valuable as wood, which was in high demand in England at the time. Therefore the Mayflower was most likely broken apart and sold as scrap.

It's amazing to think about all of the people that migrated on sailboats, and all of the discoveries that were made with them.  Of course, there are many sailboats today, but so many people think we're crazy when we tell them about our future plans of sailing to our travel destinations.  There are planes and trains now!  Why would we take a sailboat?!

Anyway, that's your history lesson for the day.  We hope everybody has a "Happy Thanksgiving"!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

I toured an old sailboat like this when I visited San Diego many years ago. It was amazing to see the inside. Then you see the big cruise ships of today. What a difference.

Have a fabulous day. ♥♥♥

The Cynical Sailor said...

Really interesting post. Have a great Thanksgiving! Cheers - Ellen

sid said...

It's supposed to be in the 40's tonight here at Lake Worth. Can you believe that? We're still waiting on a weather window...

Brian and Erika said...

I am with you on the cold! Every year about this time we swear we will never spend another winter in Texas. Need to get to the Caribbean!

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