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The Voyage of the Mayflower II

In 1957, England gifted a replica of the Mayflower to the people of the United States.

Thirty-three men sailed the 106-foot three-master across the Atlantic in 54 days. They had all the advantages of the 1950s: better navigational equipment, radio, knowledge of the winds and currents, accurate charts, electric lights and tugs to tow them in and out of harbors.

The Pilgrims did it 1620 in 66 days with 102 passengers, including two pregnant women. They also had pigs, goats, and poultry aboard, and some passengers brought cats, birds and dogs, including a large mastiff.

Captain Christopher Jones had never sailed to the New World, but two of his officers had been across the Atlantic. The exact number of crew has never been firmly established, but estimates range from 14 officers plus 17 to 30 deckhands. About half of the crew died during the winter of 1620-21. The other half sailed the vessel back to England in 1621.

The crew of the original Mayflower had none of the advantages the 1957 sailors had. So, who were the better mariners?


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