National Geographic : 1963 Aug
fore a southwest wind-brave, magnificent, futile. They could have bottled up the Eng lish fleet in Plymouth, but missed the chance. Then a combination of English guns, storm, and sickness drove them on to defeat, leaving a trail of wrecks from the Channel around Scotland to the coasts of Ireland. Away to windward of us great banks of summer clouds now piled the horizon like a thousand sails. Along that highway had passed the ships of history-the Venetian trading galleys on their annual voyages to change Asian spices and rich silks for English and Flanders woolens; the little Mayflower of 1620 with her Pilgrim Father band; Drake's Golden Hind heavy with riches seized from Spanish treasure ships 10,000 miles away; James Cook's old collier-bark Endeavorsail ing off to seek a new Pacific continent.... All had sailed this way from the cradle of the sea dogs, Devon. Where Mayflower Sailed Into History We swung around Drake's Island, checking off the well-marked channel by its buoys. "Down sail!" shouts Tom. Then, as the ketch slowly loses way, "Let go the anchor!" We fetch up, almost underneath The Hoe. Plymouth citizens have always assembled at The Hoe whenever anything exciting oc curred. I'd seen that Hoe black with people when the Mayflower II lay briefly at the de stroyer buoys off Drake's Island before I sailed her for Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1957.* I don't expect as many citizens crowded that same Hoe when the original sailed in 1620, for the brave Pilgrims attracted little notice. A Mayflower Stone stands on the old quay by the Barbican-the waterfront walk-to com memorate the event, but it was not put there until many years after the Pilgrims sailed. On a perfect green by the side of The Hoe, a large group of elderly ladies and gentlemen were bowling, all dressed in immaculate white and not one of them less than 60. The ladies *See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: "We're Coming Over on the Mayflower," May, 1957; and "How We Sailed the New Mayflower to America," November, 1957, both by Alan Villiers. Built anew in a sweeping postwar recon struction similar to Rotterdam's, Plymouth replaced narrow, winding streets with broad avenues, and medieval shops with modern buildings. Skyscraper is the Civic Building. Red-topped Smeaton Tower and the Naval War Memorial's obelisk stand above The Hoe, site of the city's most famous bowling green (page 214). Awning-striped swimming pool curves into The Sound. KODACHROMEBY BATES LITTLEHALES © N.G.S.