38th Voyage Stowaway

The Charles W. Morgan is ready for a new adventure. Are you?

Mystic Seaport is seeking a curious, enthusiastic and engaging adult to “stow away” on the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan during her 38th Voyage and to share their journey of discovery with the world. During the voyage the Stowaway will watch, inquire, learn, participate, and use their creative energy to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience through blogging, videos, social media, and activities in the port cities. Absolutely no sailing experience is necessary, but a sense of adventure is a must.


What is the 38th Voyage?

During the summer of 2014 the Charles W. Morgan will sail for the first time in more than 80 years on her commemorative 38th Voyage. During its first 37 voyages (1841-1921), this vessel ventured into all the world’s oceans in pursuit of whales. While rooted in history the 38th Voyage is not a reenactment, but rather an opportunity to add to the ship’s story with contemporary perspectives. This voyage will commemorate the role of the sea in the history of America and also explore humans’ changing relationship with whales and the natural world.

The 38th Voyage consists of day-long transits between multi-day port visits in New London, CT; Newport, RI; and Vineyard Haven, New Bedford, and Boston, MA. Provincetown, MA will be a base for day sails to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and the ship will participate in the Cape Cod Canal Centennial celebrations while docked at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Visitors will be able to tour the ship in these ports where Mystic Seaport will also provide a traveling dockside exhibit about the cultural, economic, and scientific history of whales and whaling.

What will the Stowaway do?

The Stowaway will be immersed in all aspects of the Charles W. Morgan’s historic 38th Voyage while living on board with the ship’s crew. This individual will learn and take on any jobs associated with living and working on a 19th-century vessel, including handling the sail and line, steering the ship, and scrubbing the decks. He/she will use social media to share their experiences to provide a participatory experience for the general public. The Stowaway will publish regular blog postings leading up to and throughout the 38th Voyage and will produce and appear in at least 10 short (2-5 minute) video segments. Additionally, he/she will have the opportunity to generate creative ideas for activities and outreach with input from Mystic Seaport staff.

The Stowaway will be a key player during events and exhibits at each port of call with an opportunity to explore and meet new and interesting people. He/she will engage with visitors, media, and guests on a regular basis and will also visit other partner museums and institutions in 38th Voyage port cities.

Compensation in the form of a stipend will be given to the Stowaway for their work.

What are the requirements?

Prior sailing experience is not required, but curiosity and flexibility are!

The Stowaway must:

  • Stay with the location of the ship and be fully committed to the Stowaway position from June 10 through August 10, 2014 — no exceptions.
  • Be over 21 years of age.
  • Be comfortable using a computer, social media sites, and video software or be a quick study.
  • Be able to meet, interact, and socialize with a diverse range of people every day (with a smile!).
  • Professionally represent Mystic Seaport to the general public at all times.
  • Be able to live aboard a historic vessel requiring frequent use of ladders and exposure to a range of temperatures, wind, and rain.
  • Be team-oriented and able to live in a shared living space for an extended period (you will not have your own private room, but a bunk on board the ship with 20-30 others).
  • Be self-motivated and able to work independently, with professionalism at all times.
  • Be willing to learn and take on any and all jobs associated with living and working aboard a sailing vessel, including sail handling, assisting with coordination of meals, line handling, steering, scrubbing the decks, cleaning the head (toilet), etc.
  • Final applicants will be required to pass a drug test and a criminal background check.

What does a typical day look like?

Each day will undeniably be different, but here is an idea of what to expect:

Day in Transit

Day in Port

Early Morning

Wake up before the sun with the crew living on board. Meet the new group of participants and 38th Voyagers for this day’s transit: additional crew members, artists, scientists, teachers, and guests fill the limited spots on board between ports. You and the professional crew live on board each and every night. The morning routine may include cleaning, setup, or a special tour before the ship opens to the public. Grab some breakfast and answer a question from a news reporter about life on board.

Late Morning

The weather looks good and the tugboat is chugging along (the Morgan has no on-board engine). In an idle moment, you ask the second mate what she’s working on and learn how to read a nautical chart. At 9 am, the ship and dockside exhibit open for visitors. Some ports will have many days open, some are shorter stays. You answer visitor questions, then take a break and walk around town, then film at a local museum.


You help hand out boxed lunches to everyone on board. As people eat, you film interviews with some of the day’s participants, asking what stories they have. Port visits bring new staff and volunteers for the exhibit. A lunch break with them teaches you something new about coopering, and an idea for a new blog post!


The weather is clear and the captain makes the decision to set sail without the tugboat. You are there to capture every minute: this is making history! Share a photo you took of the crowded harbor on Instagram and Facebook, then write that blog post. Visitors leave the ship when the exhibit closes at 5.


It’s been a long day on the water but you make it to port before dinner. There’s an event at the dock that night in celebration, and you’re invited. Tonight, the crew’s dinner is being provided at the community center by a generous local organization. Take some pictures and chat with local residents.


After the event, you seek out some peace and quiet to check the latest questions and comments you’ve received online. The community center also has showers, so you and the crew take advantage before heading back to the dock. Your bunk feels like home already.

How do I apply?

Please Note: All entries must be submitted via email to stowaway@mysticseaport.org by 5 pm EST on February 18, 2014. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone calls please.

Part 1: Complete the Application Form

Complete the Stowaway Application. This is a fillable PDF, which can be completed with Adobe Reader available for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

Part 2: Create a Unique Video

The chosen Stowaway will need a high level of zest, grit, humor, and flexibility in approaching this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Curiosity and communication will be essential. Show us why you have what it takes in a 60-second video. Some ideas: What activities do you anticipate? How would you bring viewers along for the ride? What questions would you ask the crew, researchers, or visitors? Be creative, have fun, and make sure we see your face and hear your voice within this video.

When complete, upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, or a similar public sharing site and include the link in your application form and submission email.  Application videos will also be posted to the Stowaway page on Facebook.

Part 3: Email us your Resume and Submission

Email the following attachments to stowaway@mysticseaport.org:

  • Completed application form in PDF format
  • Resume or CV (max. 2 pages)

Please use “your name: Stowaway Application” as the subject line of the email.

In the body of your email, it is helpful to repeat URLs included in your application such as your application video and writing samples or social media feeds.

Applications are due February 18, 2014. Finalists will be notified in mid-March, the Stowaway will be selected in mid-April, and the journey begins when the Charles W. Morgan leaves New London in June 2014.

Good luck! We can’t wait to see why you would be the perfect Stowaway.


National Endowment for the HumanitiesThe Stowaway program has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.