As a child our family spent time aboard an old, wood Chris Craft and we would often tie up inside Mystic Seaport for the weekend. When all the guests had gone and the sun went down, my three siblings and I would explore the seaport and inevitably end up at the ancient whale ship, Charles W. Morgan. At the time she was a static exhibit set in sand and mud but she looked huge when I was about 10 years old. I remember looking aloft at the rigging dreaming about climbing to the top well out to sea looking for whales and other ships. Flash forward 50 years. On June 15, the venerable 1841 whaler, the only surviving wooden whaling ship in the world, left New London and began her journey up the coast of New England, to Newport, RI. I was one of the select few to be aboard to document the crew making the voyage. The ship that was once land locked in sand, has undergone a 5 year, $12 million restoration and was on her first voyage since last sailing in 1921, her 37th voyage. And yes, I climbed the same rigging that I had stared up at as a child. This time I was aloft to take photos but the view was awesome. The ship is now at a pier at Fort Adams in Newport and open to the public. She will then sail to Vineyard Haven, New Bedford, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Boston, and then back to New London and Mystic.
To track the Charles W. Morgan, please go to: http://www.mysticseaport.org/38thvoyage/