Monday, June 14, 2010

Mayflower II

We were able to get the full Pilgrim experience. Okay, not quite the full experience. After touring a replica of the Mayflower I had a whole new level of respect for those that came to this country over 300 years ago.

The deck of the ship was pretty much what you'd expect: masts and lots of ropes.

The term "learning the ropes" originates as a maritime phrase: a new ship hand's first task would be to learn which ropes went to which sails. It seems like no small task.

Claire found the learning of the ropes very tiring...

This tool was used to, well, grab things. Simple in purpose, but REALLY important if you were to fall overboard. This tool would be the only thing preventing you from certain death at sea.

The officers quarters were definitely the best on the ship. These are the captain's quarters, which were located on the stern of the ship. The ride is less bumpy at the back, so it was certainly the best spot to sleep.

This where the other officers would have slept (at the bow of the ship).

One of the most interesting things to read was about the most important jobs of the ship. You might be thinking it's the captain. He was certainly of great importance, but the one with the most impact on day-to-day life was actually the cook. The cook would be not only in charge of preparing the meals, but the all important tasks of proper rationing (so that everyone would have enough to eat for the entire journey, not just at the beginning of the voyage) and proper storage and rotation so that things wouldn't get bad. The trip could either be be tolerable or miserable based on the skills of the ship's cook. They ate lots of salted meat (fish and pork) and beans and grains.

Now, the passengers of the Mayflower were never allowed to walk around on deck during the voyage. They were considered cargo, and were only allowed below deck. This would be one of their few sources of natural light, but it was covered most of the time to prevent water from getting below deck.

Adam and I certainly wouldn't have been comfortable on the journey.

Low head room:

See that staircase in back? That wouldn't have been on the original would've been a rope ladder.

And even shorter beds! This, of course, would have slept a number of people:

A few more shots below deck:

The voyage lasted a little over 2 months, but they arrived in November, so they actually spent the winter on the ship as well. That means that some might have been on the ship as long as 7 months!

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