Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Charles W. Morgan

This past Sunday's Hartford Courant's front page featured a great article on the continuing restoration of The Charles W. Morgan, a whaling ship moored at Mystic Seaport.

Quite a few years ago, I was at the Seaport for their chowder fest (great time and coming up in October) and had the opportunity to see the Amastad's hull being constructed.

Now the Morgan has been pulled up for a lengthy restoration. The Trustees of the Seaport have worked long and hard to keep the Morgan afloat in order for us to understand the trials and tribulations of that time for the crew of the Morgan to collect whale meat/blubber. An interesting note in the article is that the Seaport staff has been chasing hurricanes and other storms looking for (very old) uprooted live oak trees in order to rebuild the ship's ribs. Then there is a specific type of pine that is needed for the decks, let alone the hemp, special cotton to make the sails.

In this article you can learn the origins of the "slush fund", learn that the cook earned $328 for his share of the 11th voyage that lasted from 1878 to 1881! She has sailed in the Pacific, rounded Cape Horn and ended up in the harbor in New Bedford, Ma until 1941 when the Mystic Seaport acquired her and brought her to her home at the Seaport in Connecticut.

If you get a chance, stop by and visit her. The Seaport is one of my favorite spots. You have the opportunity to go back in time and visit how life was then. By the way, they expect to have the Morgan back in the water and to have her sail the oceans blue again in 2012 or 2013.

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