The pilgrims’ voyage on the Mayflower was a disaster. The self-proclaimed religious refugees hired a bad crew and had little-to-no luck on their way to Virginia. High winds and choppy seas, low supplies, months-long delays, and damage to the boat’s main beams all led to a terrible Atlantic crossing for the 130-odd people on board. By November 11th, they couldn’t take any more and anchored in Cape Cod — far north of their intended destination, the Virginia Colony.
The land they arrived at had recently been ravaged by an imported disease that killed off 95-percent of the local population. The desperate English settlers robbed graves and food stores to sustain themselves. They stayed on their ship through that first winter and severe cold temperatures and constant hunger took its toll. By the time spring rolled around only 53 of the original passengers were left alive.
By March of 1621 the English disembarked and began living in the empty houses of the decimated local village. It wasn’t a great start.