Arrival in the States/Ports of Call

ARRIVAL IN PLYMOUTH

(June 13) We left Provincetown at five the following morning with the pilot on board. An hour later we let go the tow and set all sail, as an east wind took us across Cape Cod Bay. There was a dreamlike quality to our progress. The early morning mist lifted in gray ribbons, revealing the placid harbor with its gulls, a setting so formal it seemed to me an example of nature imitating art.

Our trip was marked by the noisy accompaniment of cannon going off, whistles blowing and jets swooping overhead and around us. We attracted a gay armada of several hundred boats of all sizes – steam yachts, motor skiffs, power cruisers and trawlers. Even a canoe and a houseboat with an outboard motor joined the throng. They spread out fanlike around us. Along the shore I could see people running, some of them children.

Overhead, helicopter passengers peered out from plastic bubbles and Alan asked the Coast Guard to shoo them away. “They make it impossible to pass orders,” he said. The closer we came to land the surer we felt that everything in Plymouth that could float was out there to welcome us.

A few minutes before noon we made fast at the buoy and swung around in the harbor so that the thousands of spectators on the shore could see us.

After about an hour, while we waited for the signal of a cannon, the shallop which had been built by Plimoth Plantation for the occasion started out to meet us. I was among those who went with Alan on the first landing party to the ramp at the side of Plymouth Rock.

Dozens of television and motion-picture cameras whirred. I stood with my feet planted apart, wondering if I would still feel the motion of the ship underneath. A man dressed as a Pilgrim beat out a roll on the drums. Ellis Brewster stretched out his hand and said: “Welcome.”

The voyage of the second Mayflower was over.

Warwick Charlton, The Second Mayflower Adventure

It seemed half America was out to greet us and welcome us and stare curiously at our garb. I’m sure everyone in Plymouth had taken the day off. Brought up to a stage we were introduced to the people by Villiers. He was doing a wonderful job keeping the people laughing. This here is our surgeon – Doctor John STEVENS – incidentally he brought a pair of forceps with him – but he didn’t have to use them. The people loved him & they’d listen to him all day if our reception committee hadn’t stepped in. There were a few short speeches, a prayer, and then we were ushered off to seven brand new black PLYMOUTH convertibles & they had done a lot of organization. Here we all showered. I will never forget that hot shower with about 20 of us under it at once – all singing and relaxing. Then we dressed and were ushered into a dining room where we had our first of many big tasty American steaks (poor Doc) and fresh milk and fresh strawberry shortcake. How wonderful. Then we were given an idea of what was to happen.

David Cauvin (Journal, 13 June 1957)


TRIP TO NYC

The Mayflower was visited by Vice President Nixon and, after two weeks in Plymouth, she went to New York where she was escorted in by the fire tugs and welcomed by the band of the Sanitation Department. The streets were cleared and the crew marched in procession under a full ticker-tape parade. An official banquet followed, at which each member of the crew was given a special citation by the Mayor of New York.

Jack Scarr (Journal) 

At the City Hall we assembled, were seated then stood and sat between anthems and prayers and speeches. Finally we were presented with citations by the Mayor of New York. There were responses by Villiers and even Joe Meany – who did a very good job. More music followed.

David Cauvin (Journal)

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Second Mayflower Adventure

Long out of print, Warwick Charlton's The Second Mayflower Adventure has been reissued with a new foreword, and illustrations culled from both the US and UK editions of his book.