Mayflower Facts

Mayflower Facts
The Mayflower is the ship that carried the Pilgrims (mostly English Separatists) in 1620 from England to the New World. The Mayflower was a merchant ship and its design made it difficult to navigate the winds and waters of the North Atlantic during the epic voyage. This resulted in the trip taking more than two months (66 days) for its 102 passengers and approximately 30 crew members. Because the trip took twice as long as anticipated, supplies began to run low and two passengers died. The first winter in the New World was spent living aboard the Mayflower, and only 53 passengers survived the winter. Only half the crew survived that winter as well. Once the passengers moved to shore to the Plymouth Colony, the Mayflower sailed back to England.
Interesting Mayflower Facts:
Before carrying passengers to the New World in 1620, the Mayflower was a merchant ship that transported a variety of goods such as wine, hemp, salt, and even hops to and from ports in Europe.
The Mayflower is estimated to have been about 12 years old when it made the trip to America.
The Mayflower had three masts, and it was believed to have been between 90 and 110 feet in length, and about 25 feet wide.
The Mayflower had three levels including the cargo hold, the gun deck, and the main deck.
The Mayflower had 4 medium size cannons and 8 small size cannons. The passengers and crew felt that there might be a need for defense against pirates, Spanish, French, or even Native Americans.
The Mayflower's captain and master was Christopher Jones. He was also part owner of the ship.
When the Mayflower set sail for America it was accompanied by another ship called the Speedwell. After sprouting a few leaks the Speedwell stayed behind.
The maximum number of people that could have comfortably lived aboard the Mayflower on the voyage was 140. With 102 passengers and 30 crew members it would have been almost at maximum capacity and very cramped for the 66 day journey.
Many people aboard the Mayflower spent the voyage being seasick. The waves were very rough and one passenger was swept overboard to his death.
The Mayflower had two additional ships aboard. One was a dinghy-type vessel and the other was a long boat. The dinghy-type vessel, called a shallot, was dismantled for the voyage and stored on the gun deck of the Mayflower.
The Mayflower traveled a distance of 80 miles each day. The Mayflower, like all carracks, was difficult to sail and maneuver on the ocean due to its design. Carracks were designed for long voyages on rough seas, but they weren't very easy to steer.
In April, 1621, the Mayflower set out on its return voyage to England. It only took one month for the return trip.
In 1624 the Mayflower was taken apart and sold for scrap, in Rotherhithe, London, England.
It is estimated that approximately 35 million Americans are descendants of the original 102 passengers who came to America aboard the Mayflower.


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