Before the Mayflower there was the Matthew

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by grebeman, May 25, 2012.

  1. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    In 1497 Giovanni Caboto, known to the english as John Cabot, set sail from what was then the second most important port in England, namely Bristol and on June 24th 1497 he landed somewhere on the shores of north America, nobody is quite sure where, but estimates range from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Isle, Labrador to Maine. He didn't stay long and doesn't appear to have contacted the inhabitants, although he saw signs of human habitation. John Cabot, his crew and ship disappeared during his second voyage to the new world.

    This is the replica of his ship, the Matthew, sometimes known as the Matthew of Bristol. It's sailing from Bristol around Lands End and up the English Channel to take part in the Queens Jubilee sail past and is currently in Plymouth. I took the water taxi from Mountbatten to Phoenix Wharf where the vessel is moored.

    Shot from the water taxi as we came in to berth astern of the Matthew

    The yellow vessel astern of the Matthew is the 12 passenger water taxi which gives you some idea of how small the Matthew is. Phoenix wharf lies below the ramparts of the Citadel built by order of Charles II after the restoration, Plymouth having been a parliamentary stronghold holding out against the royalists.




    All shots with a Panasonic GH2 and either a 15mm f/4.5 Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar or a 45mm f/2.8 P/L lens, exposures set manually

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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Those early explorers had some real guts to cross the ocean in a boat like that. Great shots!
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  3. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Luke, I guess the one thing they could be sure of was that they wouldn't see another ship.

  4. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I was sitting eating my lunch on the Dorset coast today (28/05) and saw this very vessel on the horizon ... the masts and sail were unmistakeable, even without bins ... didn't take a snap though :redface:
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  5. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    That's a lovely bit of boat. Imagine crossing the wild Atlantic in it! Shiver me timbers indeed.
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  6. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Paul, Excellent, I never did see it under sail. I didn't realise that most afternoons of its stay in Plymouth it sailed in the sound, unfortunately I'd left by that time.

  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    I'm with Luke, I can't imagine sailing across the seas in these boats. Heck, I can't imagine crossing the Atlantic in any boat.

    Barrie, thanks so much for these - I'm sure it was wonderful to see them in real life.
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  8. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Great pics! When I was in Barcelona a few weeks ago, I saw a replica of the first ship to sail around the world (the Victoria, from Spain)... it was only 18 to 21 metres long!:eek: it's incredible how tiny that is when you're standing next to it, and the thought of crossing oceans in such a thing... thanks but no thanks :smile:
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