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Charles W. Morgan sails again

Posted by Tall Ships America on June 23, 2014

CHARLES W. MORGAN (Photo Credit: 12 Meter Charters Newport)

CHARLES W. MORGAN (Photo Credit: 12 Meter Charters Newport)

Last Sunday was spectacular. A beautiful, clear, warm day in Newport.  Darlene decided that she would take her scooter out for a ride along Ocean Drive and enjoy the views and the breeze. Maybe watch a few sailboats sail around.  When she arrived at Breton Point State Park (at the very southern tip of Aquidneck Island) who should she see sailing into Newport Harbor but the Charles W. Morgan. It was an incredible sight to see this 170 yr. old ship sail by with everything set.

Built and launched in 1841, Charles W. Morgan is the last of the American whaling fleet. She is America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat, after USS Constitution. She typically sailed with a crew of 35 on voyages of three years, chasing whales around the world. One hundred years after she launched, Morgan came to rest at Mystic Seaport and for the past 30 years has been slowly restored. And now she has returned to the waters of New England, at least for this summer.

More information about the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

On Monday, we took a staff field trip to greet our sailor friends and take a tour of this amazing piece of maritime history. Cassie, whom I had sailed with in 2009, was on board and generously shared her knowledge of the Morgan and took us all over the ship. I couldn’t get over how much space there was! Of course, when the crew was on the hunt, all available space would have been taken up by cargo.  But we saw some cool whaling items like the caldrons where they boiled the whale fat,  and the blubber funnel and tub:

 

Blubber Tub and Blubber Funnel

Blubber Tub and Blubber Funnel

And we thought the helm was pretty interesting –

Helm of the Charles W. Morgan

Helm of the Charles W. Morgan

 

Here is a great video by the people at Mystic Seaport showing the voyage from New London to Newport. You can all the moving parts of the ship in action and it is very cool –

If you are interested in touring  Charles W. Morgan or want to try to see her under sail, here is the itinerary for the summer. After the tour ends,  Morgan will be berthed at Mystic Seaport as an exhibit.

 

 

 

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