The Mayflower II is ready to start its return to Massachusetts, nearly four years after leaving for an $11.2 million restoration as part of the 400th anniversary celebration of the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth.
The vessel is due to leave around 9 a.m. Monday from a shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum. It will be towed to New London for just over two weeks of sea trials, Plimoth Plantation said in a statement.
The tugboat Jaguar, owned by Mitchell Towing of Fairhaven, will tow the ship to City Pier in New London. If all goes well, and the weather cooperates, Mayflower II is expected to be back in Plymouth on Aug. 10, the statement said.
The ship’s departure from Mystic seaport won’t be visible to the public. But the ship should be visible from several points along the Mystic River, according to the statement.
The ship’s journey can also be tracked along its trek online using the MarineTraffic website or app by searching for “Mayflower” and selecting the U.S. sailing vessel result, according to the statement.
In New London, the ship will undergo trials overseen by Captain Whit Perry to evaluate the ship’s performance , as well as sail training to ensure the safety of the crew.
Mayflower II was initially scheduled to arrive in Plymouth Harbor May 21 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the original ship’s arrival in 1620, but was pushed back due to COVID-19 closures and limitations.
“In a year marred by loss and great uncertainty in the world, we are hopeful that once again sailing MAYFLOWER may offer a symbol of courage and perseverance to millions of people,” said Plimoth’s Executive Director Ellie Donovan in a statement.
Plimoth Plantation said it started collaborating with the Mystic Seaport Museum in 2014 to start the restoration of the 64-year-old ship for the 400th anniversary this year, which led to replacing about 70 percent of the ship’s wooden structural pieces using six different types of wood spanning from places as near as within the United States and as far as Denmark.
“We will be forever grateful to Mystic Seaport Museum for their partnership on this remarkable restoration, and we are thrilled to bring MAYFLOWER home to Plymouth in this 400thcommemorationyear,” Donovan said.