Excuse me? Is this the New World?
In 1620 three ships set sail from Plymouth, Devon, headed for the New World we now call America: The Mayflower, The Speedwell and The Endeavour. The Speedwell was dismasted and put back into Plymouth, The Mayflower made it to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but The Endeavour foundered in the Sargasso Sea and was stranded on an island in the South Atlantic.
The Endeavour's passengers and crew create a community that thrives with little change until today. Inbreeding brings its inevitable consequences and self-preservation forces some of the islanders to repair The Endeavour and set sail to continue what they believe is their destiny.
Charles Audubon Davenport, a dynamic reporter during the week was lazing the weekend away on his trimaran in Cape Cod in his usual weekend fashion, when fate overtook him in the form of a three masted galleon bearing down on him. Convinced, eventually, that the twenty men and ten women aboard were not an advertising stunt, he alerted the harbour and his editor by radio phone.
In a relatively short time the lives of all those who come into contact with the Pilgrims, from Charlie Davenport to the President of the USA, are changed dramatically. Highly trained FBI Agents, trained to kill if necessary, become teddy bears, real human beings who go out of their way to assist their visitors in any way that they can. The President, a hard-nosed ward campaigner, finds himself at a crossroads between making political capital out of the event and simply helping them to return and rebuild their island.
Charlie Davenport and the young and beautiful Mary Standish fall in love and are married in the Seaman's Chapel of Moby Dick fame.
A seemingly insoluble impasse arises from the Pilgrims holding land grants, given by James First, in perpetual succession, to all the land between the rivers Merrimack and Kenebeor and the President, in a first flush of excitement and ignorance as to their exact size, publicly promising to uphold their rights.
Mistress Humility Fuller, a rather forbidding matron, makes the first plane and helicopter flight of her life to return to their island in order to advise the community of their success. Accompanied by a medical team three of the islanders are flown back for emergency treatment.
Many are the adventures and wonders open to these Pilgrims as 17th century England meets 21st century America head on.
But it is the simplicity, kindness and Christian belief, with none of the trappings of organised religion, that endears them to everyone, especially the Amish of Lancaster County to whom they are taken to see how simple their farming and living techniques are.
A kaleidoscopic journey of the heart, mind and body that as the Mayor of Plymouth, Hiram J. Meyrick said, is like a pebble thrown into a pond whose ripples reach even the farthest shore.
Frederick Covins © 2003
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