ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A replica of the shallop used by explorer John Smith 400 years ago stopped Saturday in Maryland's capital, the halfway point in a 121-day voyage to retrace Smith's 1608 expedition.
The shallop's crew set off in May from Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America, which Smith helped found. The boat will stop at more than 20 spots in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C., before returning to Jamestown on September 8. The crew is attempting to complete the entire trip entirely by oar and sail.
Gov. Martin O'Malley joined the crew in rowing the boat the final mile into the Annapolis Harbor.
O'Malley said Smith's journey "shaped the boundaries, character and course of America... and our great state."
"This exciting celebration of our history will hopefully inspire all Marylanders to play a more active role in restoring the bounty and beauty of these magnificent waters that, 400 years after Smith's arrival, remain the heart of our commerce, our culture, our environment and our quality of life," the governor added.
Smith launched his exploration in 1608, a year after Jamestown was founded and at a time when the settlers were so terrified of being ambushed by American Indians that they rarely left their fort. He took 14 men with him and sailed more than 1,700 miles to the headwaters of nearly every major tributary. The journey took three months and yielded a comprehensive map that guided English settlers for nearly a century.
The nonprofit Sultana Projects Inc. of Chestertown, Md., crafted the 28-foot open boat mostly with tools like those used in Smith's time.