A year of travails and indignities for the Godspeed ended in perfection this weekend with a re-enactment of the landing of the first permanent English colonists at Cape Henry, Va., in 1607.
Traditionally, a simple annual memorial service is held at Cape Henry, but Saturday, men in 17th century costumes rowed a small boat ashore, erected a cross and proclaimed the land for King James.
It had been 379 years since the original Godspeed, the Susan Constant and the Discovery arrived on April 26 at Cape Henry. A month later, they moved on to Jamestown.
It had been 361 days since the new Godspeed, built to duplicate the original, left England to re-create that historic voyage.
The 1985 voyage of the 68-foot wooden sailing ship was first beset by storms in the English Channel. Behind schedule and off course, it missed a planned July landing at Cape Henry. An alternate August date passed with the Godspeed in the Caribbean, waiting out late-summer hurricanes.
The ship finally arrived in October -- but it ignored history by going straight to Jamestown. It arrived under tow.
The Godspeed sailed to the Cape Henry memorial cross from Newport News instead of England, and delays Friday caused it to miss practice for the Saturday program. But by Saturday, all was well, and the ship was moored just offshore, with several hundred spectators on hand.