As seen from the Davis Observation Deck of the Whaling Museum, the Mayflower II is towed into New Bedford harbor, arriving promptly at six bells in the afternoon watch (3:00 p.m.). This 1956 “representational model” of the famous ship that brought the Pilgrims to the New World, is in port for her annual maintenance and U.S. Coast Guard inspection at the Fairhaven Ship Yard.
Built at the Upham shipyard in Brixham, Devonshire, England Mayflower II was launched on Sept. 22, 1956. Berthed at Plymouth, Massachusetts and overseen by Plimoth Plantation, the ship is 106 feet in length, 25 ft wide, with a displacement of 236 tons. The ship looks almost miniature compared with a mid-size freighter docked at State Pier, as well as the average New Bedford dragger – underscoring the amazing risk taken by the 102 souls who crammed aboard in 1620.
The Port of New Bedford, America’s #1 Commercial fishing port (in value of landed catch), offers vessels of every rig and period all manner of repair, maintenance, and service as only a fully working waterfront can provide. In addition, its 3.5 mile long hurricane barrier makes it the safest haven on the Eastern Seaboard.
The Whaling Museum will focus on fishing and the city’s other important livelihoods in a new exhibit planned to open in late May 2011 titled, “Follow the Money – A First Look at New Bedford’s Industry, Commerce, and Entrepreneurs.”