It seems they were trying to take the rhumb line to Virginia but were set north by the Gulf Stream
. They were so far off course that they stopped to re-provision in Newfoundland
A little known story is thay in the spring of 1622 after the first terrible winter, the Pilgrims sailed their 38ft open single
masted shallop for the 200 mile trip to Damariscove Island off Boothbay harbor Maine
. There was a well established trading post on the island that serviced a year round fishing
fleet that could see 40 boats at anchor
in the summer. The island's gift of cod helped them survive until the harvest for the first Thanksgiving.
If you ever cruise Maine
, be sure to stop at Damariscove Island which is uninhabited today except for a conservation caretaker and a family
that has restored the old lifeboat station. it's not hard to imagine the Pilgrim's arrival in 1622.