Mayflower - A survival story | Daily News


Mayflower - A survival story

Discover how pandemics repeat themselves, unravelling the difficult historic truths about the Mayflower boat journey that changed the world, and is still doing so with the first AI Mayflower 111 boat being named and put on the water next week, exactly four hundred years since the first one left from Plymouth for North America on September 16.

This epic historic travel book Mayflower A Sea Change, launched this month globally on Amazon, describes the intrepid maritime journey from Plymouth, a fascinating ocean city in the UK, to America, where it looks at the human stories that connect the people who live there now, with those of 400 years ago and looking where we will be 400 years into the future. The book that poses the question: How does the ultimate story of survival hold the key to your future? Exposes the stories of persecution, loss and oppression as well as migration, humanity, courage, determination and freedom...An epic journey in its own production, this book is a global game changer that wants to save the world from extinction by showing us what we have done, warts and all, how by facing up to horrible truths it should be corrected and most importantly how we can all be here in the future.

The book, which took 18 months of painstaking interviewing of hundreds of people, documentary photography being shot and extensive research in the UK, Holland and the United States, opens with the views of the Wampanoags, who had been living for twelve thousand years harmoniously with the land, until the Europeans showed up in the 1600s.

Researching Plymouth’s story as one of the greatest maritime cities in the world that has for far too long been overlooked and underestimated demonstrated the incredible similarities between all port communities from all corners of the globe. The people of this extraordinary little written about place, where the Mayflower finally left are today a deeply determined community, who are using survival wisdom of the past to rise up together in positive ways to overcome this disastrous global pandemic. This is an in-depth understanding of Plymouth’s influence on world affairs, through the diverse range of voyages that have been prepared for and departed from its shores, one of which was the Mayflower journey, 400 years ago this month and how dramatically one small ship with only 102 passengers changed the world and in many ways defined where we all are today on the world stage.

So why Plymouth? A city of fishermen, explorers, traders, one of the finest Navy bases in the world, and used as the final departure point of the Mayflower ship, before its horrendous 66 day voyage across the stormy, battering seas of the Atlantic, during the hurricane season, to North America, where an even worse winter awaited to swallow up half its passengers. Plymouth for any who truly get to know it - and I hope the book creates a doorway for more people to enter this most enigmatic and unique city - was voted 2nd of the top 20 places to visit in 2020, according to Condé Nast.

Nearly all of the 20 characters in the book picked to give 2020 vision in 2020 link back to the ocean and like cities such as Colombo and Galle they show people who live by the ocean have a very different and unique DNA as well as mixation approach to life and sharing knowledge through trade based on the sea, like the antiques dealer who was formerly a fisherman, sells old bits of ships’ diving gear and navigational equipment; the writer who documents the spirit of the city and its naval architecture of the city in great detail, including its maritime aspects; the distiller who links closely to the Royal Navy with its Plymouth Gin which became a worldwide product, used both to purify the water on long voyages and no doubt to butter up foreign powers around the world with its world-class drink. In addition the religious figures who tell us of Plymouth’s diverse past and significance during the Civil War and how the pilgrims would have prayed at the Minster of Saint Andrews the 1,200 year old church, for a safe voyage; the former Lord Mayor, who speaks of his time in the Navy and the shipbuilding industry serving Devonport before moving in to the politics of the city; even the first female QC lawyer speaks of the former legal system that executed ‘justice’ on witches; and a field protection officer who now runs Mayflower survival tours on the sea as well as courses at Mount Edgcumbe, where former owners of the house were often the first defenders of the realm against naval attack from foreign forces; the Commander at HMNB Devonport, who waxes lyrical about defence, deterrence and highly disciplined mariners of all colours and creeds; a naval surgeon who speaks of overseas campaigns and strange tropical diseases; an artist who centres her work around fish and underwater detailed sketching of shipwrecks that remind us of Plymouth’s tempestuous past before lighthouses and the famous breakwater; an architect whose greatest endeavour has been the restoration and redevelopment of the Royal William Yard, former immensely grand naval victualing base for the empire; a cutting edge designer and builder of artificially intelligent top-secret submarines of which the Mayflower III automated ship is the star attraction for the Mayflower commemorations; a farmer who enlightens us about the various victuals and livestock that may have accompanied such voyages as the Mayflower and other ventures; and a mother and business woman who provides holidays and living by the sea at Plymouth’s closest sandy beach in the lodge that was owned by the builders of the famous breakwater.

Counterparts of all these were researched from 400 years ago of which most had even closer connections to the ocean, trades and campaigns upon which the nation was built from coopers, who made the barrels that carried everything in them on the long sea voyages to the Surgeons who also sewed up the sails of the boats. The book is an acknowledgement of Plymouth’s importance as a naval base, a fishing port, a trading city, and launchpad of discovery, enriched by global trade and exploration while also retaining its creative makers’ spirits (eg. see the hidden novel artist’s map of the city on the inside cover) and independent thinking that comes from being connected with the the world via the ocean. Inspired from Around The Galle Fort in 80 Lives, that looks at history of the old citadel through the peoples eyes, Mayflower A Sea Change has gone a step further to give a view of the future four hundred years from now that requires us all to work together to overcome this pandemic. That’s if we do not want to become extinct as the result of the Renaissance period that brought the ‘me, me’ society into the world, that reduced the thinking from community and connectivity to brilliance being entirely inside the individual. Instead of recognising the importance of the spirit world that motivates everything we do and shows the power that oneness has.

Owing to the extraordinary sea change brought about by Covid-19, the team have carried on researching what the people in the book went through during lockdown and the incredibly imaginative ways they are rising up in our ‘Resurgam: Mayflower Sea Change’ series, as seen on One Plymouth, that also reveals that there is no room for bigotry in the world. “When people take the journey into their ancestral pasts, their genealogies, and have their DNA tested and analysed, they soon understand that there is no place for bigotry or prejudice, and that we are all connected. When you think about it, we are all made up of multiple strands and cultures, and yet ultimately are all one.” Lea Sinclair Filsom, Director of Tourism (& former President of Mayflower Descendants Society), Massachusetts USA, quoted on the last page of our book.

Few cities could boast such a colourful past as Plymouth that launched, to name a few: Cooke’s multiple discoveries, Darwin’s theories of evolution, Drake’s naval campaigns and circumnavigation, Bligh’s survival feats, Sir Francis Chichester’s solo achievement around the world, campaigns to fend off the Barbary slave traders, the Falklands campaign and most importantly land-based endeavours at the Marine Biological Association at the waterfront, which has won seven Nobel prizes and the longest marine plankton survey and data environmental project on the planet, amongst many other amazing scientific discoveries and research done by them for top TV programme series Blue Planet. Furthermore, 10 percent of the profits of the book are being given to the Ocean Conservation Trust to clean up plastic in the sea and encouraging everyone on the planet to pick up a piece of plastic daily to help end this highly destructive behaviour that has people all over the world eating fish that have consumed particles of plastic.

What makes the book so special is the involvement of so many people from so many different backgrounds, jobs, and ages, with so many different extraordinaty perspectives on life and the city – it is truly one of the most diverse ports of call on the planet, where on the 400th anniversary next week on the 16th September they will be launching Mayflower 111 the first AI boat without passengers in the world, that will film the same crossing next year while doing incredibly important scientific research. Mayflower Sea Change is illustrative of all Ocean trading cities around the world rich in cultural mixation, in which global ideas are exchanged from trading both things as objects and ideas of living from across the ocean and back again. To buy a copy of this fascinating book go to Amazon

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