Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Mayflower II - Continuing the day 10.19.10

It was late afternoon and we had to hustle.

We could have spent more time in the pilgrim village doing more of the same, but we needed to rush over to the ship before it closed.  Leaving the RV behind at the plantation's parking lot (would be a problem to park it in town), we headed for the ship!

Right on the oceanside strip is where we found the Mayflower II.  It is a full-sized working reproduction of an English merchant ship from the 1500's.  She was built in England in the 50's and sailed to Plymouth in 1957.

The original Mayflower btw made only one trip to New England in the fall of 1620 and then returned to England in the spring.  The ship disappeared from historical records by 1624.


Love the squinting shots...


We explored the deck,


pulled some ropes,


thankfully not important ones....


Down below we saw the kitchen,


spoke to a so called pilgrim.  'So called' since as I said yesterday!!!, they didn't refer to themselves as pilgrims.  Pilgrims were those who went on pilgrimages to Jerusalem.  They did not.


We climbed and lay down on the beds (yuck!)

Inspected something, I have no idea what....and noticed the cannons on board.  Protection against pirates!

OK, so this was a real source of excitement here, but neither S or I can remember what the thing actually was! It either pulled the anchor or ropes.  No matter what it was, it was quite a challenge to operate, but they did it!



Once off the ship, we walked over to to THE rock.  Plymouth Rock of course.

And here it is:


Pretty unassuming wouldn't you say?  On it is carved the year 1620.

Of course, everyone in this country knows this is


Where they first literally set foot when they arrived.

Well, turns out, as lots of things historical, that's not quite the story.

The rock wasn't identified as the landing place until 1741.  120 years after the landing a 95 year old man, who happen to know some of the original pilgrims, claimed it was indeed the landing spot.  Buuut, it seems that realistically it might just have been a convenient landmark or maybe a makeshift pier for those original pilgrims.   The rock as it appeared 390 years ago was actually more than three times larger than it is today.  It had its top chopped off, relocated and returned, and the bottom half shaved down to fit in a new canopy.  It's gone through a lot.

Bottom line is, the rock is a symbol.  A symbol for the potential the pilgrims saw when they arrived here.  And that's good enough for me.

It was beginning to get dark so we headed back to Plymouth Plantation to pick up our home, have dinner and get a move on.  We headed out of Massachusetts and into Road Island where we spent the night at yet another Walmart.

Tomorrow we'd arrive in NY!

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