Pilgrims Aboard the Mayflower Sight Land

After reorganization, the final sixty-six day voyage was made by the Mayflower alone, leaving from a site near to the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England on September 6/16.

With 102 passengers plus crew, each family was allotted a very confined amount of space for personal belongings. The Mayflower stopped off at Newlyn in Cornwall to take on water.

The intended destination was an area near the Hudson River, in "North Virginia". However the ship was forced far off-course by inclement weather and drifted well north of the intended Virginia settlement. As a result of the delay, the settlers did not arrive in Cape Cod until after the onset of a harsh New England winter. The settlers ultimately failed to reach Virginia where they had already obtained permission from the London Company to settle, due to difficulties navigating the treacherous waters off the southeast corner of Cape Cod.

The Pilgrims were planning to build their settlement around the mouth of the Hudson's River near present-day Long Island, New York; but when the Mayflower turned south, she nearly shipwrecked in some difficult shoals off the coast of Cape Cod. The Pilgrims decided not to risk another attempt, but instead to explore the region around Cape Cod. They anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor on November 11, 1620. Since they were no longer going to settle where they had thought, and did not technically have the permission of the King of England, the Pilgrims drew up the so-called "Mayflower Compact," to give themselves the authority to establish a government there--it was a temporary solution, until an official patent could be obtained.