The Return of the Charles W. Morgan

The  Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport. (Photo: Mystic Seaport)

The Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport. (Photo: Mystic Seaport)

As a child, I spent a lot of time at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Conn. As I discuss in The Man Who Thought Like a Ship, it was among my father’s favorite maritime museums, and we often stopped there as part our summer vacation. Before he got into nautical archaeology, my father’s dream was to volunteer at the museum once he retired.

Among other things, the museum housed the ship model collection of Charles G. Davis, whose books on built-up ship modeling techniques inspired my father’s own early work with models.

My dad also used to take pictures of the rigging of old sailing ships, and he probably photographed the rigging of the Charles W. Morgan more than any other ship. The Charles W. Morgan is the museum’s showcase and the oldest whaling ship still in existence. As a child, I spent hours running around her decks. 

She was towed into Mystic in 1941, and she’s basically been there ever since. This summer, however, the Charles W. Morgan will set sail for the first time in more than 90 years. Fresh off a five-year renovation program, the museum is sending the her on a victory lap, of sorts that will take her to her former home port of New Bedford, Mass., as well as Boston, where she’ll be berthed next to the U.S.S. Constitution. 

Smithsonian.com has more on the Charles W. Morgan’s “38th Voyage.” 

 

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About lorensteffy

Loren Steffy is a writer, speaker and consultant. He is the author of Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit published by McGraw-Hill in 2010 and The Man Who Thought Like a Ship, published by Texas A&M University Press in April 2012. A journalist for more than 25 years, he was most recently the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle.
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