In December 1606, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery left England with 105 colonists and supplies of food, tools, livestock, and military equipment to start a new colony in Virginia. The English investors who funded the colony hoped to tap into Virginia's valuable resources, encourage new industries, and find a route to the riches of the East Indies.
The voyage of over four months was difficult for crew and passengers. Poor nutrition, stormy seas, overcrowding, and boredom created illness and ill feelings. Crew filled their time sailing the ship. Passengers were cramped below with cannon, supplies, and baggage.
Merchant ships were a lifeline to England for the settlers in Virginia, bringing fresh supplies, more colonists, and news from home. These vessels, re-creations of the three original ships, were built here at Jamestown Settlement, and occasionally sail with a volunteer crew to other ports.