The Pilgrim Press reports Mayflower II set sail Monday from Mystic, Connecticut, bound for its home at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The news was brought to my attention by a local reader descended from the pilgrims who left Europe for more freedom.
This is the 400th anniversary of when the Mayflower sailed to America, landing passengers in Plymouth on the tip of Cape Cod.
A variety of planned commemorative events have been canceled, however, because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The 64-year-old reproduction of the original vessel underwent a historic restoration started in November 2016 at Mystic Seaport Museum‘s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, according to Plimoth Plantation.
The ship’s course includes docking for two weeks at New London, Connecticut, for sea trials and sail training, led by Plimoth’s Director of Maritime Preservation and Operations and Mayflower Captain Whit Perry.
Mayflower is expected in Plymouth Harbor around Aug. 10, depending on tide and weather conditions and other factors that may affect the safety of the ship and crew.
Englishman Warwick Charlton and Plimoth Plantation collaborated to build the replica between 1955-1956 in Devon, England. It has three masts — a mizzen aft, the main midship and the fore, plus a spritsail in the bow. It also has main and gun decks and a cargo hold. The original ship was estimated to carry 180 tons of cargo.
Disagreeing with the Church of England, Puritans in 1608 settled in Holland where they could worship freely.
Then, in 1620, a number of Puritans purchased boats to cross the Atlantic for America, which they considered a “new Promised Land,” and where they established Plymouth Colony.
The original English ship transported the first English Puritans, known now as Pilgrims.
After an arduous 10 weeks at sea, the Mayflower, with 102 passengers and a crew of about 30, reached America and dropped anchor on Nov. 11, 1620.
Before leaving the ship they signed the Mayflower compact to establish a basic form of democracy.
Indigenous peoples taught them food gathering and other survival skills, which kept the colonists from perishing in their first winter.
To track Mayflower’s journey online, follow the route using the MarineTraffic app or marinetraffic.com.