Mystic, CT - The Charles W. Morgan will travel from Boston to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Wednesday, July 23 to take part in the centennial celebration of the opening of the Cape Cod Canal. The ship will dock at the academy and be open for public boarding on Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27.
The ship will be towed through the canal at approximately 6 p.m. on July 23. Any delay due to weather will be posted on the Mystic Seaport website.
This is the last major stop on the Morgan’s 38th Voyage. A National Historic Landmark, the Morgan was built in 1841 and sailed on 37 voyages around the globe during an 80-year whaling career. This voyage, the ship’s 38th, was undertaken to raise awareness of America’s maritime heritage and to call attention to issues of ocean sustainability and conservation. The ship departed Mystic Seaport on May 17 and visited New London, Conn., Newport, R.I., Vineyard Haven, Mass., New Bedford, Mass., the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and Boston, where she tied up next to the USS Constitution.
The Morgan will be accompanied by a dockside exhibition at the academy, where visitors can learn about the Morgan, whales and whaling, and their importance to America. A video presentation and display panels explain the history and significance of the 173-year-old vessel, the important role the whaling industry played in America’s economic history, how the Morgan and whaleships were an early connector of different cultures, and how America’s perception of the natural world has changed over time. Hands-on activities include knot-tying, handling samples of wood used in the restoration, and searching the Morgan’s crew lists for familiar names or hometown connections.
A focal point is Spouter, a 46-foot-long, life-sized, inflatable model of a sperm whale. Visitors can participate in a “What Bubbles Up?” activity by writing down their whale-related memory, question, or sketch and attaching it to a humpback whale sculpture.
Mystic Seaport interpreters will demonstrate the 19th-century maritime skills of a cooper, shipsmith, ropemaker, and whaleboat rower. There will also be live performances including sea chanteys, the interactive “Tale of a Whaler,” and a condensed rendition of the novel “Moby-Dick,” titled “Moby-Dick in Minutes.” Visitors will even have the opportunity to try their hand at rowing a whaleboat during select times.
NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary will have an exhibit booth to explain how the sanctuary interprets America’s maritime past, promotes ocean conservation, and engages in cutting-edge research. They will show how whales feed and what they feed on, and present videos that feature information on the National Marine Sanctuary System, whales, whale research, and whaling heritage. Kids can even create their own whale hat.
The ship and dockside exhibition will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, with the last boarding of the ship to take place at 4 p.m. There is a suggested admission of $5 for those ages 6 and older. Mystic Seaport members and children ages 5 and younger are admitted free.
The Mystic Seaport dockside exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).