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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Charles W. Morgan at Sea Again

With much excitement around these New England waters and beyond, it was reported by the Mystic Seaport that the stately Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship of her kind,  had hoisted her sails again on June 7, 2014. After years of renovation and nearly a century since her last voyage the great ship is in motion.

Charles W. Morgan with full sails.  Photo: Dennis Murphy

" Built in 1841 at the yard of Jethro and Zachariah Hillman in New Bedford, MA, the Morgan is America's last surviving wooden whaleship and a precious piece of maritime history.  The Morgan's first voyage took place from 1841 to 1845. She was captained by Thomas Adam Norton, master, and many details of the voyage were kept in the ship's logbook, maintained by the second mate, James C. Osborn." *


At the Mystic Seaport webpage for the ship, you will find stunning photos of her trial sails, by photographer  Dennis Murphy.  A short video narrated by Capt. Kip Files shares images of one of the first trial sails.  With dramatic music and a fair amount of emotion, Capt. Files describes the trial and her stellar comportment on the waters around New London, CT, as the ship readies herself for her 38th Voyage.  

Though scheduled to leave New London yesterday, Friday the 13th, the Charles W. Morgan will instead set off on her voyage on June 15th.  According to the website, some iffy weather and sea conditions off Pt. Judith (RI) prevented yesterday's departure.  But I think we can all fly our "superstition" flag and, in fun,  imagine that perhaps it was decided Friday the 13th was not an auspicious or lucky day to set sail. 

"Command Central" (see image below and click to go there): for anything you want to know about the Charles W. Morgan, on the Mystic Seaport website.

It is a fun page with tons of options like:
-Up to the minute CWM news 
-Following her voyage around the Cape, Islands and back to New Bedford where she was built
-Find out about the "Stowaway!"
-Read about Capt. & Crew
-Related Events to her sailing destinations

...and you can even follow her in multiple ways via social media.  (Of course, she has a Facebook page, and can be pinned on Pinterest.)


http://www.mysticseaport.org/38thvoyage/

The Charles W. Morgan leaves for Newport, RI tomorrow.  She will sail to all the significant whaling ports that awaited her arrival so many many years ago.   I plan to see her when she's visiting Martha's Vineyard.  Prepare to be enraptured.



* Source:  Hine, Jason, author. Mystic Seaport website; "The First Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan"; webpage: http://educators.mysticseaport.org/maps/morgan_first/

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