This is a Traverse Board. “It was used to record the direction and speed of a ship during a four-hour watch. Each half-hour a crewman would place pegs in appropriate holes in the board, recording the direction shown on the compass, and the speed as measured with a chip-log. At the end of each watch, the ship’s master or navigator recorded the information and cleared the board for the next watch” (taken from plaque at Mayflower exhibit).

It’s pretty amazing that a piece of wood with some holes in it and a few pegs is what they used to navigate across the Atlantic Ocean. Looks more like the makings of a cribbage board to me!

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  1. Cool!! I like the top shot in particular, but appreciate the close up to check out the details.

  2. Very interesting post…great detail!

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