The Mayflower tour

Kellie Gleeson

A long boat trip over hostile waters, 102 people living in a confined space for months on end, many men with many duties depending on each other for survival. This was the scene on the boat called the Mayflower.
The Mayflower had nine main areas where the crew worked and played.
The first was the Crows nest, the look out station of any ship. In this area, sailors would tighten and secure the sails of the boat. If one had a fear of heights, this job could not be done.
The next area was the Round House, the area where the pilot and the shipmaster would plan out the course of the ship. Planning out the course was not an easy job, one had to look at wind and weather patterns and the roughness of the sea.
Two navigational tools that these men used were the quadrant and the cross staff. These instruments measured the ship’s latitude and longitude and made navigation much easier.
The Half Deck was the next important section. Apprentices, who were learning about different components of the ship, used this part of the ship for studies. These apprentices also cleaned the ship and cleaned up after other sailors.
The Great Cabin was the biggest room on the Mayflower. This room was were the Captain slept. No one was allowed to go into this section of the ship unless then were given permission by the captain.
The steering section tookk place in the steering section of the ship. This was a two-person job.
The Helmsman was in control of the steering operation. This person would yell out course directions.
Next to him was the person who would be in control of the Whip Staff. This is the part of the ship that would move the rudder, making the ship go in a certain direction.
The strongest sailors were in control of the Capstan. This pulley was used to lift heavy objects on board and off board the ship. This would include food and livestock.
This operation also included heavy wood pieces, and lots of rope, lifting the wood up and down.
The next important area was called the Main Deck. Navigation and repairs took place here.
One type of repair tool was called the sailor’s palm. This tool was used so the sewing sailor would not hurt himself on the needle being used.
The Tween Deck was the area where all 102 sailors would sleep. It was about the size of the average volleyball court.
When the sailors weren’t on the deck, they would live, sleep and eat in the Tween Deck. Even the sick stayed here.
The Forecastle was the area where the men that worked would eat and rest. The men at this section would eat good food like fish, stew, vegetables and ship’s biscuit- bread that was cooked twice.
The last site was the anchor. The anchor is a very hard metal substance that would take several men to lift out of the water. It was used to stop the ship. The men used a windlass to help them lift the anchor.
The Mayflower, which was 12-years old, was a 180-ton wine ship before voyaging across the Atlantic Ocean. It landed at Plymouth on Dec. 26, 1620, after sailing for 62 days.