The International Code of Signals denotes a blue flag with a white square to represent the letter “P”, or “Papa” in the phonetic alphabet. For generations, sailors have called this flag by its nickname – Blue Peter. When flown on the foremast of a ship in port, it means “All persons should report on board as the vessel is about to proceed to sea.”
While a standard set of signal flags were probably not used by English ships in the early seventeenth century, the excitement of preparing for a voyage would not have been a foreign feeling to many of the sailors and soldiers who ventured to Jamestown in 1607.
Tomorrow, September 21, our re-creation of the Godspeed will depart on a two and one-half week voyage. The first leg of our voyage will take us to Henricus, near Richmond, Virginia. The Godspeed and its crew will help commemorate Henricus Historical Park’s Publick Days on September 23 and 24 and conduct educational programs for the local school systems. From Henricus, the Godspeed will sail down the James River and up the Chesapeake Bay to her second port of call – Reedville, Virginia, opening for public deck tours and again providing outreach education programs for 4th graders from Northumberland County. From Reedville, the Godspeed will sail home to Jamestown Settlement on October 5.
We invite you to join us on this voyage each day over the next two and one-half weeks to learn more about the Godspeed, our volunteer sailing program, and how our maritime program supports the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’s mission of teaching early Virginia history.