The Mayflower was destined to make the voyage across the Atlantic alone. After repairing Speedwell in Dartmouth, both ships had set sail on 2 September 1620. However, within a day of sailing Speedwell developed leaks again and both ships turned around and returned to England – this time to Plymouth Harbor where they anchored on 6 September 1620.
Speedwell’s logs would have read as follows:
2 September Weighed anchor, ‘as did also MAY-FLOWER, and set sail. Laid general course W. S. W. Wind fair.
3 September Fair wind, but ship leaking.
4 September Wind fair. Ship leaking dangerously. MAY-FLOWER in company.
5 September About 100 leagues from land’s end. Ship leaking badly. Hove to. Signalled MAY-FLOWER, in company. Consultation between masters, carpenters, and principal passengers. Decided to put back into Plymouth and determine whether pinnace is seaworthy. Put about and laid course for Plymouth.
6 September Wind on starboard quarter. Made Plymouth harbor and came to anchor. MAY-FLOWER in company.
It was in Plymouth that the ship which had caused so many delays was finally deemed finally to not be seaworthy. It was decided that the Mayflower would sail alone. Some of the passengers who had sailed from Leiden, Netherlands abandoned their plans of going to the New World, while other crammed into the Mayflower to continue their journey.
On 14 September 1620 after transferring its cargo to Mayflower, Speedwell “Weighed anchor and took departure for London, leaving Mayflower at anchor in roadstead.”
On 16 Septeber 1620 Mayflower continued on this journey alone and sailed into history books.