“I saw three ships coming sailing in. . .”

Well, that’s not really true. We didn’t actually see them come sailing in, but we did see them in all their glory.  Jamestown Settlement has a re-created version of the three ships in which a total of 104 passengers arrived there from England in 1607.  Katie and I found our exploration of the largest ship, the Susan Constant, to be fascinating.  I was too busy being amazed and learning all kinds of interesting knowledge to take very many pictures of my own, but here’s a picture of the trio, lifted from the Jamestown Settlement website.

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The ship we examined exhaustively (the Susan Constant, in the foreground above) looks pretty big there, but she was VERY small, only 82 feet long by 24 feet wide.  Everything was meticulously arranged, from the captain’s cabin on the main deck, the pegboard system for determining speed and direction (this was long before Harrison’s marine chronometer!), and the sleeping berths below decks, to the system for raising and lowering sails, the armament, the rudder control, and the bilge pump.

We had a dandy time thoroughly investigating the Susan Constant; which time was greatly enhanced by the detailed explanations offered by her excellent, extremely intelligent, and politely flirtatious “costumed historical interpreter,” pictured here.

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This charming fellow knew the answers to every question I could think to ask (and I do ask a LOT of questions, being intensely curious and loving to learn), and he explained each piece of information in a delightful British accent and with a level of grace, etiquette, and think-on-your-feet quick wit that is rarely seen in folks today.  In fact, as I was thanking him for making our time on board so interesting, I thought to myself that he is one of the few people I’ve ever met whose acting and comedy skills put him in the same league with Terry the Tour Guide.  = )

I only took a few pictures of the ship(s), but those vessels were definitely a high point of our time together.  Here’s the Susan Constant,

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a shot of her crow’s nest,

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and Katie manning the tiller on the Godspeed.

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Yes, she’s standing in the middle of (the width of) the ship, so you can see how tiny it is, and 52 men lived on it for 144 days!  In fact, considering all that those intrepid adventurers faced during their trans-Atlantic passage and then upon arrival in the New World, “Godspeed” was probably a vital key to their survival!

And with that, I officially wrap up my documentation of our four days of discovery together in the Tidewater region of Virginia.

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