National Geographic : 1957 May
728 Robert F. Sisson, National Geographic Photographer Mayflower's Sturdy Shallop Nears Completion. She Will Meet the Pilgrims at Sea To explore shallow coastal waters, the Pilgrim Fathers brought over a small boat stowed between decks. Trying to reproduce her, Mr. Baker found no authentic description and resorted to Dutch plans of the 1600's. Under spritsail-and-jib rig, with leeboards to keep her from sliding sideways when beating to windward, she will meet the new Mayflower off Cape Cod. Plymouth Marine Railways in Plymouth, Massachusetts, invited a pair of master shipwrights from Maine to help build the shallop. Here one of them, Francis E. Fahey, squares a leeboard support timber. sweet, and she looks as if she will sail well. Itisagoodtimeofyearwhenwego,as early in April as possible. Then the east winds blow, which used to take the French and the Channel Islands codfishing schooners over to the Grand Banks. Galleon Beats Straight Westward Itistoolateintheyearformetogothe southern route, down to the trade winds and westward in Columbus's tracks. I shall have to make a straight run of it the best way I can. That may be tough, for ordinarily the whole force of the Atlantic weather comes from the west, just the way I have to go. However, we shall hope for the best-a day or two of favoring easterlies to get clear of the land (for the English Channel is overfull of ships, and its rocky coastline is no asset to me). Then I plan to stand to the nor'ard, to get out of the North Atlantic Current, and beat along the best way I can. We will land by the famed Plymouth Rock, after a Compact signing off historic Province- town. The Mayflower's shallop, being built now at Plymouth, Massachusetts, will sail out to meet us and escort us in. The city fathers are laying on a wonderful reception for us at Plymouth. After that, Plimoth Plantation, the energetic and capable organization that is transforming part of Plymouth into the town the Pilgrim Fathers made, will take over Mayflower and place her in a permanent, revered, and ideal berth. I look forward tremendously to the thrill of bringing the gift ship in. We'll need good luck. But, after all, we've had a lot, and ask only a little more. We were lucky to find Bill Baker's expert plans (otherwise there would have been a year's delay); lucky to find Stuart Upham's shipbuilding yard, with a team of shipwrights who still understood the building of oaken ships and had the tools to work with; lucky to find the Devon oak, too, and the sailmaker and the rigger, and the cordage company and canvas weavers-aye, and the crew, too. We can do the job now, we hope. In a very few years it would certainly have been too late.