On this day in 1620 a group of sixteen men from the Mayflower set out on a mission to explore the area they had landed at. They were led by Captain Miles Standish and included William Bradford and Stephen Hopkins. Each man had a musket, sword and corset (a light piece of body armour). The men rowed through a shallow area of coastline and had to jump out and wade through the cold icy water, weighed down by their armour and weapons. Once on the beach they marched in single file along the shore.
After a few miles they saw a group of people and thought they were Captian Jones along with the Mayflower’s spaniel who they knew were ashore. When the group ran away into the woods they realised they had seen natives for the first time. The explores followed the group of natives tracking their footprints in the sand. They tracked them for the rest of the day marching somewhere between 7 and 10 miles. With the light drawing in they set up camp for the night. They spent the night gathered around a large fire with three sentinels on guard at a time.
In the morning they continued to track the natives, despite being tired and thirsty. They found a source of freshwater at what is now known as Pilgrims Spring on a slightly raised section of land and once refreshed headed back to the beach where they built a large fire as had been agreed before leaving the Mayflower, which was now around 4 miles across the water from them. Tired after two days marching in the cold they slept well before the final day of their first exploration.
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