When the Mayflower set sail from England in 1620 to journey to a new land across the ocean, the 102 passengers on board had no idea what to expect. They were willing to leave their homes, friends and family members to go on an adventure of unknown difficulties and dangers. Not listed on the passenger manifest were two dogs and at least one cat, each one with their own contribution to the small group of adventurers who stepped into the American wilderness at Plymouth Rock.
The 90-foot Mayflower traveled around two miles an hour, weathering rough seas and storms. The journey across the Atlantic took 66 days, when the ship landed on the tip of Cape Cod, which is now Provincetown, Massachusetts. The impact of one storm blew them off course by more than 500 miles , which caused them to miss their planned landing. After exploring the area, the Mayflower set sail and finally dropped anchor in Plymouth harbor on December 21, 1620.
Historians know about the existence of the dogs because of a journal kept by two Mayflower passengers from the time they left England up to the first Thanksgiving celebration in the winter of 1622. The journal was called “Mourt’s Relation.”