Friday, October 24, 2014

Next stop: Plymouth

The Mayflower

The weather was perfect for touring...and Plymouth was enjoying the leaf-peepers.  After breakfast, the day started with a tour of the Mayflower. What a great little ship, which made an extraordinary sailing, bringing Puritans to North America.

The man sitting with the crossed legs is "Captain Jones."

Navigator's and First Mate's quarters

The tour guides on the ship were terrific!  Some were in period costume, telling their stories as if they had not lived a day past the late 1620's.  I learned from "Captain Jones" that there were many ships called the Mayflower, as it was a popular name in that day.  So you went by the Captain's name; for instance, this would have been Captain Jones' Mayflower.  The ship brought 102 Puritans, several animals (goats, sheep, cows, chickens).  However, because of scurvy, 55 of them died after they got to Plymouth.  It took 9 weeks to make the voyage, but they were actually on the ship for 7 months, living on it, as there was nowhere else to live.  Another interesting fact was that they all had rations of 1 gallon of beer a day--even for children.
Below deck, where 102 Puritans made the journey.  Two ladies on the right told their stories of sailing to America.

All 102 Puritans lived below deck with the animals they were transporting.  Two ladies (tour guides) were acting the parts of those who made the journey, and they said they would never make such a journey again.  It was crowded, and they didn't get much fresh air; they were not allowed to go above deck because they would get in the sailors' way.  Oh yes, and the boat you see below (floating next to the Mayflower) was also taken apart and transported below deck, and then it was reassembled once they got to America and used to explore the coast and rivers. I can't imagine how they got all their supplies, the boat, the animals, and the people all packed in that space.  Must have been disgusting conditions.

This is not a good picture of Plymouth Rock, but I think the first time anyone sees it, they find it surprisingly small.  The engraved date of 1620 is still in good shape; some say that the rock was originally  somewhat bigger and that pieces of it have been chipped away.  Who knows?  It is certainly well guarded in modern years, with this giant portico built around it.

Jenny's Grist Mill is another site in Plymouth.  The water wheel and old grinding wheel are still in operation, and they continue to grind corn there on a regular basis.

Jenny's Grist Mill

Leydon Street became a main street in Plymouth, and this is the street that has been recreated at Plymouth Plantation, a mile or two away.  On Leydon Street is the Sparrow House, many gift shops, restaurants, book stores, etc.  Wish there had been more time to explore.
The Sparrow House
The Sparrow House is the only house still standing in Plymouth which was actually lived in by a Puritan in the 1600's.  It was wonderful to walk through and see how modestly and simply they lived.


  1. Fantastic photos and commentary. I can't begin to imagine staying below deck for the entire journey - no wonder they got scurvy!

  2. Sounds like a great tour. I'm enjoying your photos!

  3. so cool. Love to attend historical live performances.! I can't believe how smallP rock really is!