Exploring Jamestown Settlement

Nancy and Olivia in Jamestown Settlement

Sailing the James River was exciting, challenging, and calming, but now we’re in Jamestown and it’s time to explore!

But it’s not an adventure without a challenge!

And our first challenge was landing the dinghy.

There are literally no locations to get ashore in Jamestown. There’s a beach, but it’s a public park, so no motorized boats are allowed. There’s a pier, but it’s reserved for an official.

You know what, though?

Our troubles getting ashore turned into a pleasant adventure and an impetus for exploring the waterways around Jamestown.

Behind Nancy and Olivia are replicas of the three sailing ships that brought the original settlers to Jametown.

A Little History of Jamestown, VA

Jamestown, also Jamestowne, was the first lasting English settlement. 104 passengers and 30+ crew members sailed in three ships across the Atlantic and founded Jamestown in 1607. It served as the capital of Virginia until 1699, when the seat of government was moved to Williamsburg. Originally, the land was inhabited by the Powhatans.

Three Sailing Ships of Jamestown

We love Cadence, but these ships are on a different level. The two just can’t be compared. While Cadence is swift and nimble, the three sailing ships that originally came to Jamestowne are beasts!

These sailing ships are downwind ocean vessels. They were each designed for slightly different functions, which explains their differences in size.

The voyage from Europe to Jamestown began in December 1606 and ended in the James River in May 1607.

The largest ship, Susan Constant

Susan Constant

  • Length: 82′ on deck
  • Draft: 11’9″
  • Beam (width): 24’10”


  • Length: 65′ on deck
  • Draft: 7’3″
  • Beam (width): 17′


  • Length: 50′ on deck
  • Draft: 6’6″
  • Beam (width): 14′
Godspeed and Discovery viewed from the bow of Susan Constant
Matt standing at the stern quarter of Susan Constant

James Fort

The Jamestown settlement grew into a fortified position with farms and towns surrounding James Fort.

James Fort rests on a hill with 15 foot wood walls surrounding it.

The fort was a fun place to explore. Museum curators were working in the fort just like the settlers in the 1600s. Crafting wood, raising chickens, and tending to the garden.

We hope you enjoyed this episode and story of Jamestown Settlement!





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