Plimoth Plantation offers glimpse into the lives of the Pilgrims
PLYMOUTH, Mass. – On Sept. 6, 1620, two ships, Mayflower and Speedwell, left Southampton, England, bound for the New World. Halfway through the journey, Speedwell developed leaks and turned back, but Mayflower continued on. On board Mayflower were 102 passengers and about 30 crew members. Two people died from scurvy on the 65-day trip, and one baby was born.
Mayflower was a typical merchant ship of the day and was about 100 feet in length.
When Mayflower reached land on Nov. 9, they encountered heavy seas and nearly shipwrecked. They had planned to sail south down the coast but decided because of the weather they would explore Cape Cod. They turned north and rounded the tip of Cape Cod and anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor, and spent the next month exploring the area and trying to decide where to build their settlement. On Christmas Day, 1620, they decided to settle in present-day Plymouth and immediately began building their new settlement.