Pat Shingleton: "A Rough Start..."
As noted in a previous column, the crossing for the Pilgrims was difficult. The winter of 1620 was "a calm winter, such as was never seen here" wrote Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts Bay. Details as to subsequent winters at Plymouth are sketchy. Journals that were returned to England may have been weighted toward favorable weather, designed to not only please sponsors, but to persuade other settlers to come to America. Almost half of the original passengers and crew of the Mayflower encountered disease during their first winter on the shores of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bay. Many stayed on the Mayflower, anchored a mile offshore. If weather conditions permitted, the settlers went ashore each day to build adequate shelters.