They’ll go to sea on a historic ship and tell their tale to the world.
In the summer of 2014 the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan will sail for the first time in more than 80 years. During this commemorative 38th Voyage, 79 adults from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds will sail aboard the ship and participate in an unprecedented public-history project. This select group includes artists, historians, scientists, journalists, teachers, musicians, scholars, and whaling descendants. Using their own perspectives and talents, the 38th Voyagers will document and filter their experience aboard the Morgan and produce a creative product for Mystic Seaport to share online and through exhibits, publications, and public programs.
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. The 38th Voyagers will sail aboard one voyage leg (one night plus the following day), working alongside Museum staff to examine every aspect of the journey to better understand the past experiences of those who sailed this ship and others like her.
Voyage Legs and the 38th Voyagers
The 38th Voyagers and the voyage legs they will be sailing aboard are:
New London, CT to Newport, RI
M. Lynn Barnes studies history through the medium of historic clothing and textiles, and has taught university-level courses in art history, humanities, fashion, and dress history. She holds a Ph.D. in historical dress from The Ohio State University. In addition to teaching, she also produces historic fashion shows for museums and universities. Barnes plans to research the highly interdependent whaling and fashion industries of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with an emphasis on the procurement and usage of baleen in corsetry. Sailing aboard the Charles W. Morgan will allow her to experience the “sights, sounds, and smells” of a whaling voyage, while offering new insight to guide her research. Barnes will present her research in future conference presentations and publications.
D. Graham Burnett is a historian of science and a tinkerer who writes and makes things. A 2013-2014 Guggenheim Fellow in residence at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, Burnett teaches at Princeton University. In 2007, he published Trying Leviathan, a study of the classification and taxonomy of cetaceans during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 2012, he published The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century. As a 38th Voyager, Burnett will perform, document, and dramatize the experiences of 19th-century whalemen studying the surface of the ocean “with all the force of their eyes and ears.” A research report is expected.
Joanie DiMartino is a Mystic-based poet and public historian with work published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Modern Haiku and Alimentum. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Licking the Spoon (Finishing Line Press) and Strange Girls (Little Red Tree Publishing). Her poems have appeared in several art exhibits, most recently Poetry of the Wild ~ Mystic, which was on display at Mystic Seaport and featured a poem from her next manuscript, Wood to Skin, which is about the 19th-century whaling industry, highlighting the career of the Charles W. Morgan. DiMartino’s poetry often addresses historical topics, and she looks forward to sharing the Morgan’s experiences in readings and workshops to both adults and children inspired by her forthcoming collection.
Matthew Ecklund serves as Head Educator for Call of the Sea, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco focused on educating the public (particularly youth) about the ocean, marine mammals, and sailing. He is also an avid artist, with a particular interest in the evolution of scientific illustrations of whales. In 2009, he completed work on his Honors Art Exhibition at Macalester College, Ligatura Cetacea. In this exhibition, he “became a seventeenth-century illustrator,” producing “fifty quill and ink drawings of whales bound in lines.” Using his journey aboard the Charles W. Morgan as inspiration, Ecklund will produce a new series of quill and ink illustrations of whales to be used in future exhibitions and educational programs.
Paul Krejci holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he teaches courses in music history and Alaska Native music. His research combines the disciplines of music and anthropology and examines musicultural change and early musical processes of globalization among indigenous cultures of northern Alaska and northwestern Canada during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. He has also done fieldwork focusing on the state of present-day indigenous musical forms and the musical impact of early commercial whaling along the Arctic coast. As a 38th Voyager, Krejci will play historically relevant accordion tunes aboard the ship and interact with the crew to learn their thoughts about whaling music. He will prepare a paper and audio-visual presentation to document his experiences.
Peter McCracken is a former librarian and now Co-founder and Publisher of ShipIndex.org, an online database that helps people do research on ships, and simplifies the process of doing maritime history research. He holds an M.A. in maritime history from East Carolina University, and has presented at many history, genealogy, and library conferences. He has authored more than 40 columns in Sea History about conducting maritime history research online. As a 38th Voyager, McCracken wants to engage new audiences in the Charles W. Morgan‘s story. He will offer presentations about the Morgan at traditionally non-maritime conferences, and will also prepare articles documenting his experience for Sea History magazine, genealogy magazines, and possibly other publications.
Christopher Pinheiro is a graduate of UMass Amherst and an economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. His 38th Voyagers’ project will culminate in the production of infographics to “investigate historical/current dollar values of whale derived products and modern replacements of those products through the economic principle of substitution.” Pinheiro’s notion that infographics catch the eye more easily than text alone while conveying important information will be valuable in posting to economic blogs and elsewhere. Pinheiro has also spent time aboard the Liberty Cutter, a 125-foot schooner, and will share some of his experience with other 38th Voyagers.
Helen Poulos is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment, and holds a Ph.D. in forestry and environmental studies from Yale University. She is a biologist and naturalist by training, and teaches courses in environmental studies, geographic information systems, forest ecology, landscape ecology, and invasive species biology, policy, and management. By collecting observational data and conducting archival research, she will examine changing perceptions of whales and the natural world over time. Poulos will incorporate her research into a published book chapter, and will also develop a lesson plan that will be included in her environmental studies course at Wesleyan University.
Tyler Putman is a Ph.D. student in the History of American Civilization Program in the Department of History at the University of Delaware, with research interests in material culture and military, maritime, and social history. He also studies and recreates garments worn by American men during the 18th and 19th centuries. Using historical construction techniques, Putman will tailor a “tarred” jacket, based on sailor clothing from the mid-19th century, for a member of the Charles W. Morgan’s sailing crew. Through this project, he hopes to better understand the impact of work garments and textiles aboard whaling vessels.
Newport, RI to Vineyard Haven, MA (Martha’s Vineyard)
Jamie Jones is a scholar and cultural critic. She currently serves as a Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Michigan. Receiving her doctorate in American Studies from Harvard, she is interested in the cultural reverberations of the American whaling industry’s long afterlife. Rather than tell the story of what happened on ships, she tells the stories of the storytellers: the whalemen, artists, writers, museum founders, journalists, and impresarios who made meaning out of whaling. Jones plans to chronicle her experience on board the Charles W. Morgan for the introduction to her forthcoming book, a cultural history of the United States whaling industry and its long afterlife in American culture. She will interview the captain, crew, fellow Voyagers, and dockside visitors to find out how the Morgan and whaling history shape their imaginations. Her goal for the 38th Voyage is to document the meaning we can make out of whaling history in 2014.
Peter Norberg is a Melville scholar and the chairperson of the English Department at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. Receiving his doctorate in English from Rice University, he has held teaching posts at Rice, University of Houston at Clear Lake, and Boston College. Norberg made an early connection to Melville, fishing the waters of Nantucket Sound, the same water crossed by Ishmael on his way to Nantucket and he currently serves as the General Associate Editor of Melville’s Marginalia Online. He is committed to using the Charles W. Morgan as a resource for experiential learning in the digital age, and he plans to create a series of interactive videos that will use the Morgan to make Melville’s Moby-Dick more accessible to first-time readers. Norberg will create short video clips of specific artifacts and features of the Morgan to illustrate specific chapters in Melville’s novel, and combine these videos with voice-over narration of the text, ideally by other participants in the 38th Voyage.
Jason Smith received his doctorate from Temple University and is a historian currently serving as an Adjunct Instructor at Howard Community College. Smith is familiar with Mystic Seaport, having attended the Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies/National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar at the Museum. His project will examine the role of the Charles W. Morgan in history and memory. Smith’s work is grounded in the idea that commemoration, public history, and other representations of popular historical understanding are rooted not just in the past, but in the present as well. The project will involve an examination of the history of the vessel as a whaleship and also as a museum exhibit. The result will be an article-length piece of scholarship for an academic audience. Smith will use his time aboard the ship as the narrative thread, which will tie the article together, moving between his impressions as 38th Voyager and his observations as an historian.
Vineyard Haven, MA to New Bedford, MA
Matthew Bullard‘s connections to the whaleship Morgan run deep. Charles W. Morgan was his 4th-great grandfather, his family has strong ties to the whaling industry, and the city of New Bedford and they were instrumental in preserving the vessel when she ended her active whaling career in the 1920s. A meteorologist and wind energy consultant by profession, Bullard comes to the 38th Voyage to explore heritage. “As father of what is now the seventh generation of Morgan descendants, I will write directly to my young son about what it means to return to New Bedford, what it means to come home, and what it means to inevitably leave once again.” His experience will be synthesized into an essay and photographs.
Rob Burbank – In 1981, New Bedford native Rob Burbank interviewed his great-uncle Jacinto Costa about his experiences as a seaman on the Charles W. Morgan’s 35th voyage in 1918. “It struck me how little he worried about his safety in what was a challenging and often treacherous work environment.” Burbank travelled to Mystic Seaport to see the logbook of that voyage, awed to hold it in his hands. Little did he know that more than 30 years later he himself would sail on the Morgan’s 38th Voyage. Burbank is now a communications professional, journalist, editor, and photographer specializing in outdoor adventure. His work has been published in many publications including The Boston Globe, Backpacker Magazine, Appalachia, and Yankee Magazine. He will create a first-person narrative and photographs of his own experience in contrast to his great-uncle’s recollection of being a young man discovering the world at the masthead in 1918.
J. Revell Carr, III knows the Charles W. Morgan well. As a boy he stood on her deck as she was floated down the river after her first major restoration in Mystic. He worked as a Mystic Seaport interpreter and demonstration squad member during his high school and college years, and now, as an ethnographer, historian, educator, and sea music scholar and performer, he returns to the ship regularly as a participant in the Museum’s annual Sea Music Festival. Carr is currently Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at UNC Greensboro, having earned his Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara. His project “examines the Morgan’s present and what she means to people today, specifically her significance to participants in the American Sea Music Revival.” He will document the uses of music during the voyage using audio and video recordings and still photography. This material will be shared via academic journals and a short video documentary.
Michael P. Dyer has 20 years of experience as a whaling curator, librarian, and maritime historian at the Kendall and New Bedford Whaling Museums. His exhibitions and publications have contributed to a better public understanding of whaling history and the artistry of both practical and decorative objects. His upcoming book The Art of the Yankee Whale Hunt explores how whalemen illustrated the craft of whaling in journals, logbooks, painting, and scrimshaw. The unique opportunity to sail on the Morgan will provide “to some small extent, an insight into the conditions under which whalemen created these particular types of art works and how their relationships with the shipmates may have influenced their production.”
Vanessa Hodgkinson – Although British artist Vanessa Hodgkinson has never seen a live whale, nor spent any time at sea, she is fascinated with whales, whaling, and the history of women in whaling. A professional artist with many solo and group exhibitions to her name, Hodgkinson earned degrees at Chelsea College and Art and Design and Emmanuel College in Cambridge, UK. In her recent solo exhibition at Crowell’s Fine Art in New Bedford, she used digitally-based non-figurative geometric compositions to explore the unseen depths of the sea and the battle between the sperm whale and giant squid. On the Morgan’s 38th Voyage, Hodgkinson proposes to consider “what this voyage might mean beyond simply being a form of historic sentimentality.” She will be exploring the little-known history of women who dressed as men in order to join the crews of whaling ships. This is a material gathering trip, using film and audio recording and her resulting artwork will be exhibited at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Lesley Walker’s connection to the Charles W. Morgan reaches back to the late 19th century when her great-great-grandparents lived on isolated Sunday Island (now Raoul Is.) in the Pacific. In the early years, whaleships, including the Morgan, were their only connection to the outside world, providing essential supplies. She is currently working on a book about her ancestors’ experiences and was thrilled to discover that she could apply to be on the 38th Voyage. On the transit, Walker will keep a detailed sensory journal and publish her work in blogs that will later be developed into articles for the maritime journals in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. She is excited about making new connections — “I know the power of the personal story in engaging people with national and global contexts.” Walker said, “I am Australian from Sydney at present living and working in the UK, and a keen sailor as well as an historian and heritage consultant. I am very excited to be able to see the ship my great-great-grandparents and great-grandmother saw anchored and sailing off Sunday (Raoul) Island from the 1870s onwards. To be able to sail on her as well is an extraordinary adventure! The New Bedford whaling ships not only saved my ancestors’ lives when they were marooned and in danger of dying of starvation in 1870s but were a lifeline for them, providing stores, a whaleboat, human contact, essential supplies and news about the world on their intermittent visits to the island.”
Robert Wallace – An English professor at Northern Kentucky University, Robert Wallace is passionate about Moby-Dick and about art. He has published four books on Melville and curated a variety of art exhibitions that respond to Melville’s work and to the natural world. He has also spent time as a deckhand on a tugboat in Puget Sound and has researched Makah whaling first-hand. His goal is to use the experience on the Morgan to better understand Melville’s environment and to link “all the ways in which our current understanding of whales and the ocean, of human and natural ecology, and of global society and commerce have changed in ways that make Moby-Dick even more relevant…than when it was written.” Throughout the day, he will capture photographic and written impressions, remaining open to inspiration about the final form of the project.
Mary Wayss earned an M.A. in Creative Arts and Learning and is currently an art teacher at Our Sisters’ School in New Bedford and co-founder of the Music and Art Collaborative, Inc. Her inspiration often comes from her environment and her Portuguese heritage. She writes, “As an artist growing up, living and working in New England, I have always been drawn to the sea.” Wayss inspires her students to use their surroundings—the sea, the marine life, and the harbors as subject matter. She holds middle school art exhibitions annually in New Bedford, as well as private exhibitions for her students. Wayss will use her experience on the Charles W. Morgan to create an exciting lesson plan and to render a native artifact, recreating scrimshaw motifs and themes in other mediums such as mammal bones, printmaking, sketching, photography, and pen and ink.
Peter Gansevoort Whittemore writes: “The chance to see New Bedford harbor, coming in…on a whaling vessel is an opportunity of a lifetime for one like me whose blood lines run in the rigging.” Whittemore is Herman Melville’s great-great-grandson and brings not only a familial connection, but a real concern for the ocean environment and its role in sustainability for all species. He studied English at Harvard as an undergraduate and earned his M.Div. at the Harvard Divinity School. Whittemore regards the Charles W. Morgan as an “instrument of instruction” with potential to bring attention to important contemporary issues as well as connections to the whaling industry as an example of American industrial fervor in the 19th century.
New Bedford, MA to Buzzard’s Bay, MA
Edward Baker is the Executive Director of the New London County Historical Society in New London, Connecticut. In addition to a B.A. in History and a M.S. in Recreation, Baker has more than 30 years of experience in the museum field, including time as the Associate Director of Education and Interpretation at Mystic Seaport. His interest is in bringing forward the important role of sperm whale oil in enabling the Industrial Revolution, and his experience aboard the Charles W. Morgan will coincide with an exhibit, “Whaling Out of New London,” that he is creating for the New London County Historical Society at the Shaw Mansion.
Mike Bancroft holds a United States Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and is a Naval Architect with more than 40 years of offshore sailing and sea service. A visit to Mystic Seaport at the age of 14 changed Bancroft’s life forever and inspired him to dedicate his life to ship design, construction, and voyaging. Through this opportunity as a 38th Voyager, Bancroft hopes to research and get acquainted with the lives of prior and current crew members, study and reflect on how Mystic Seaport and the Charles W. Morgan have impacted his life and others, and how both museum and vessel continue to inspire. He is particularly interested in finding people who have had a singular experience (examples: a book, visit to a museum, a day in a park) that completely transformed their life and goals.
Cristina J. Baptista is a Portuguese-American writer, literary scholar, and English Instructor at Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Greenwich, Connecticut. Prior to working at CSH, she taught at Fordham University where she received her Ph.D. in English, with a focus on Modern American Literature. Inspired by her Portuguese heritage, Baptista hopes to re-evaluate the role of immigrant whaling communities and give recognition to the contributions, failures, and successes of the immigrant whalemen who have made significant impacts on the American global culture. Her collection of poetry and images will reflect and give acknowledgement to the original Charles W. Morgan voyagers.
Hester Blum is an Associate Professor of English at Penn State University, where she specializes in 19th-century American Literature and Oceanic Studies (which is the study of literary and cultural circulations defined more by sea routes and flows than by political or terrestrial boundaries). As a 38th Voyager, Blum is interested in the moments when nautical communities become literary communities, whether through shared reading, storytelling, narrative writing, performance, or contestation. The essays she will write to illustrate her experience as a voyager will appear in literary magazines and academic journals such as J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.
Rebecca “Bex” Brinton Gilbert is currently pursuing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Raised in a Quaker family, which can trace its roots back to the original settlers of America, she is eager to explore the historic connection between the Quaker community and the whaling empire they built. As a 38th Voyager, she hopes to use this special opportunity on the Charles W. Morgan to reflect as a modern Quaker pursuing a career in marine conservation.
Wyn Kelley, a Melville scholar and Senior Lecturer in Literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Kelley hopes to bring the experience of this voyage back into the classroom, not only to make Melville’s books and poems come to life, but also to reflect on how we think about literacy in different media. In particular, she is interested in Melville’s observations of wind and weather as information media, bearing messages as texts in other media do, and calling on refined reading skills.
Courtney M. Leonard is adjunct faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is an artist, filmmaker, and a member of the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island, New York. As a 38th Voyager, Leonard hopes to reflect on her heritage whose history lies strongly in the sustenance and ceremony of the whale, but whose current cultural custom does not practice whaling. From her experience on the Charles W. Morgan, her sculptural “scrimshaw” pieces will represent the voyage and incorporate both surface texture and sound recordings captured from this journey.
Michelle Moon is the Assistant Director of Education for Adult Programs at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Museum Studies at the Harvard University Extension School. As a 38th Voyager, Moon plans to document the impact of the voyage as an experiential learning program centered on a specific museum artifact, the Charles W. Morgan, examining the outcomes for its participants to determine what kinds and forms of learning are taking place at sea that could not happen in a more conventional interpretive setting.
G.L “Ger” Tysk received a B.A. in English with a Japanese minor from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of The Sea-God at Sunrise, an American whaling historical fiction novel inspired by her hero, John Manjiro, who was one of the first Japanese to settle in the United States as a result of whaling. As a 38th Voyager, Tysk will be documenting the voyage with photographs and text which will illustrate how a whaling vessel, such as the Charles W. Morgan, can still draw people from all backgrounds.
Buzzard’s Bay, MA to Provincetown, MA
Betsy Hoffman Hundahl is an artist and museum professional who has spent her entire life on or near the ocean. She has exhibited her artwork in numerous venues over the years, and has also worked as an art teacher. Currently, Hoffman Hundahl is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Marblehead Museum. She received her B.A. in Art History from Middlebury College, and a diploma in Painting and Printmaking from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. As an artist, Hoffman Hundahl will bring an aesthetic sensibility to the 38th Voyage. She plans to create artwork based on nautical charts of the areas where she sails on the Morgan, hoping to give the viewer an insight into and appreciation for the sense of place that charts provide.
Tom Jackson is the Senior Editor at WoodenBoat, the premier magazine for wooden boat owners, builders, and designers. He received his B.A. in journalism from the University of Oregon and has been a journalist for more than 30 years, winning numerous awards for writing, page design, and general excellence. A passionate and accomplished sailor and boat builder, Jackson has succeeded in making what he loves best be a central part of his life’s work. He authored the in-depth article “Reaching Deep into History: Restoration shipwrights shed new light on the Charles W. Morgan” which was based on his working alongside Mystic Seaport’s shipwrights for three weeks. Jackson plans on using his time on the Morgan’s 38th Voyage to write an article for WoodenBoat on the experience of sailing the last remaining wooden whaleship. He will also incorporate aspects of his experience into a nonfiction book he is currently writing about the history of the Morgan.
Theodore (Ted) Slampyak is an award-winning professional illustrator with more than 20 years of experience writing and drawing comic books, comic strips, storyboards, and illustrations of all types. He was the illustrator for the syndicated comic strip Little Orphan Annie for six years, and works on storyboards for movies and TV shows that have filmed in the area like Breaking Bad and Terminator: Salvation. Slampyak received his B.F.A. in graphic design and illustration from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He plans to use his experience as a 38th Voyager on the Charles W. Morgan to create a comic book that will trace his journey and his creative process in telling the tale.
Betsy Leahy is a 3rd grade teacher and Department Head at Shady Hill School, where she has been for almost 30 years. She received her B.A. in Environmental Biology from Middlebury College, and her M. Ed. from Tufts University. Leahy embodies the power of experiential learning by implementing a year-long study of whales and whaling, which includes a mock whaling voyage around the globe. Students become familiar with not only the mechanics of whaling, but also the social and political climate of the time, the customs and practices of other whaling cultures, and the diversity aboard the New England ships. As a 38th Voyager, Leahy plans to supplement and enhance her year-long whaling unit with the sights and sounds of her leg of the voyage. She will capture life aboard the Charles W. Morgan with photographs, video, and audio recordings that she will then weave into her curricular unit.
Michael Owen is a contemporary artist and illustrator from Providence, Rhode Island. After many years of creating oil paintings based on popular culture and Americana, he recently began making pen-and-ink drawings of boats and ships, with a particular interest in the rigging of these vessels. Wooden boats, both large and small, now populate his drawings as well as his imagination. Owen has shown his work in New York, Los Angeles, and Providence and his paintings are in several public and private collections, including the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and Fidelity Investments’ corporate collection. Owen is also currently building a 14 foot glued-lapstrake sailing dinghy in his garage and he expects to launch the Rover some time in 2014. As a 38th Voyager, Owen plans on creating artwork to be framed for exhibition.
Emily Sanborn is a high school science teacher at South Kent School, and a state and regional representative on Environmental Education boards for Connecticut and New England. She also identifies as an Environmental Educator with a particular interest in cultural and economic implications and their relationship with environmental action. Sanborn is the daughter of an immigrant from the Azores and has always been fascinated with whaling tradition and Portuguese culture. She enjoys traditional blacksmithing as an artist and teacher. She received her B.A. in Environmental Education from Colby College. For her 38th Voyage project, Sanborn plans to create a lesson plan, a creative historical fiction piece, and an original work of hand-forged art that represents the story of the Charles W. Morgan.
Stefanie Talpey has been teaching marine science at Branford High School in Branford, CT for nine years. She has independently designed and developed the marine biology curriculum. Talpey received her B.S. in marine biology from the University of Rhode Island, and her M.S. in biology from Southern Connecticut State University. She participated in a professional development program at Mystic Seaport about the changing perceptions of whales over time, and implemented a whaling unit that was showcased during a recent Educators’ Weekend at Mystic Seaport. Talpey plans to use her experience as a 38th Voyager to enhance the whaling unit and expand its reach globally through digital access of the “digital textbook” on whaling.
Christine Wenc is a writer, historian, museum consultant, and editor. She has worked on museum and public history projects for the National Park Service, Harvard University Libraries, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and has published journalism, history, and creative nonfiction. Wenc received her B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and her M.A. in the History of Science from Harvard University. For her 38th Voyage project, she plans to write a creative essay on the history of care for the sick and injured onboard American whaling vessels in the 18th and 19th centuries. Her piece will explore how this was affected by interaction with different cultures.
Day sail 1: Provincetown Harbor to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Barbara Bosworth is Professor of Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. While all of her projects remind viewers that not only do we shape nature, but also nature shapes us—this is perhaps nowhere more evident than in her images of champion trees. For more than a decade, she has photographed the winning trees of each species in the United States, as designated in the National Register of Big Trees. In 1987 Bosworth was one of 17 photographers selected to participate in “America’s Uncommon Places: Sites from the National Register of Historic Places,” a traveling exhibition sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In To Be At the Farther Edge, Bosworth photographed the New England National Scenic Trail for the National Park Service in 2012. Her work has been widely exhibited, notably in recent retrospectives at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum, and her publications include Natural Histories (2013), Trees: National Champions (2005), and Chasing the Light (2002). While aboard the Charles W. Morgan on Stellwagen Bank, Bosworth will photograph the experience of being out on the open sea aboard a whaleship with an eye toward the natural phenomena surrounding the ship, the sea, and our human presence on it. She will use the 8×10 format, with its large negatives for large and high-quality prints, allowing people to really sit up and take notice when beauty is rendered in such fineness of detail. Her prints will go toward a larger book collection of photographs of the sea.
Anne DiMonti is Director of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island Environmental Education Center. She has been a marine biologist, educator, and sailor for more than 30 years. DiMonti is active on several environmental boards and committees, and she enjoys affiliations with Rhode Island Natural History Survey’s Board of Directors, the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium Education Committee, and Roger Williams University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. She once worked as a Marine Mammal Observer during the Rhode Island Jamestown Bridge Demolition, and at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, Save the Bay, and Mystic Aquarium. While at sea aboard the Charles W. Morgan, DiMonti will observe the natural world as they did in the 19th century, through careful visual observation and regular scientific recordings, such as temperature, depth, and salinity. She will also observe man’s modern day use of the ocean habitats such as ship traffic and marine debris. She will record her findings in a traditional logbook as a springboard to discussions back ashore on how to expand the audience for the current threats to marine mammals. DiMonti will create a temporary exhibit at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island Environmental Education Center in Bristol, RI, about the Morgan’s 38th Voyage and will present at the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium’s Annual Meeting and on the Facebook page “Face-ing Extinction: the North Atlantic Right Whale.”
Jason Raupp is a Ph.D. student and research fellow in marine archaeology at Finders University in South Australia. His dissertation focuses on the industrial operations of 19th-century whaleships and the material culture associated with American whalers wrecked in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands). In coordination with the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, Raupp is developing an online exhibit about whaleships as industrial platforms and how experiences like the 38th Voyage can aid in the interpretation of archaeological remains.
Frank Reed is an expert in celestial navigation, and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on “lunars” for determining longitude, which were widely used on the first voyage of the Charles W. Morgan. Reed, from Connecticut, was for many years a planetarium lecturer at Mystic Seaport and he currently develops celestial navigation courses and related software tools for students. At sea, Reed will be conducting experiments in traditional and modern celestial navigation to determine latitude and longitude using a sextant, octant, and chronometer, and developing educational videos about 19th-century navigation.
Taylor Sahl is an English and ESL teacher in Westbrook, CT. Sahl spent several years as a videographer out of Provincetown, documenting whale watches and studying whale behavior and distribution. On the 38th Voyage, Sahl will combine his skills in filmmaking, education, literature, and marine biology to create a short film on the changing perceptions of whales.
Elizabeth Schultz is a dedicated advocate for the arts and the environment. She is retired from the University of Kansas’ English Department, and continues to write about the people and the places she loves. She has published two scholarly books on Melville: Unpainted to the Last: Moby-Dick and Twentieth-Century American Art (1995)—which inspired a recent exhibit titled “Imagining Moby” at the New Bedford Whaling Museum—and, as co-editor, Melville and Women (2006). Schultz has also published four books of poetry, a memoir, a collection of short stories, and a collection of essays. Her scholarly and creative work has appeared in numerous journals and reviews, and she remains an active Melville scholar and ecocritic. She is currently at work on a collection of poems of whales and whaling. Sailing aboard the Charles W. Morgan will allow Schultz to imagine in poetry the experience of being a 21st-century secret sharer on Melville’s Pequod. In her poems, she hopes to be able to listen in on conversations Ishmael might not have heard, sights and smells he might not have known, and to bring to his cetology contemporary information about whales.
Evan Turk is an illustrator and animator living in New York City. Turk graduated Parsons and continued his training at Dalvero Academy. His projects have included documenting the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan and an award-winning animation “Patterns,” on the cultural history and future of the Morgan, which is on display at Mystic Seaport. On the 38th Voyage, he will use drawings, recordings, and reflections to post online and as the basis for an animation about the evolving meaning of the Morgan as an intersection of visual, auditory, human, animal, and historical languages that can communicate and create conversations with a modern audience.
Michael Whitney is an Associate Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. He is an NSF CAREER award winner, with expertise in the physical oceanography of estuaries and continental shelves. Whitney will make measurements of weather aboard and construct a web tool linking past weather conditions on the Morgan to logs from past voyages. He will also release several surface ocean drifters during the voyage to track currents in real time during the 38th Voyage.
Gary Wikfors holds a Ph.D. in marine biology, with a focus on marine phytoplankton, which he applies to his position as Supervisor Research Fisheries Biologist with the Northeast Fisheries Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service. His interest in the 38th Voyage, however, focuses less on his scientific background but more on his more than four decades as a composer and performer of traditional folk music from cultures around the world. He has written more than 200 songs and currently plays throughout New England with different bands, performing a variety of music on several instruments, from country to contra dance. In particular, Wikfors founded “Walkingwood Mandolin Quartet” in 2001 and their first CD came out in 2010. Wikfors plans to use the 38th Voyage to compose original music that blends the folk traditions that likely would have been heard aboard the Charles W. Morgan in the 19th century. Since the Morgan was composed of wood and metal in the 1840s, he will compose music for the waldzither, a stringed instrument built in Germany from similar materials in the same time period. While on board, he will react to the rhythms of wind, wood, and wave. Tunes that result will be “scratch” recorded by video camera, and then brought home for the creation of more-polished arrangements.
Day sail 2: Provincetown Harbor to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Lucy Bellwood is a self-described “cartoonist and illustrator who began working on tall ships in 2007 and hasn’t looked back since.” She attended Reed College and now pursues her nautically-themed career full time at Periscope Studio in Portland, OR. She has an entrepreneurial spirit that has resulted in the distribution of her comics up and down the west coast and has led to special projects with institutions like the Vancouver Maritime Museum. As a 38th Voyager, she plans to create a multi-page color comic that tells the story of her journey juxtaposed against a whaler’s daily life at sea. She will add content to her tale by conducting research at Mystic Seaport to learn more about the history of tall ship sailing and the restoration process of the Charles W. Morgan.
Jeff Bolster – For as long as Bolster can remember “boats and books have been the foundation of his life.” He read all the classic maritime histories as a child and had his own boat at the age of 12. After college, life at sea beckoned and Bolster spent years sailing and was licensed by the United States Coast Guard as Master of Motor, Steam & Sail vessels, 200 gross tons, all Oceans. Eventually he came ashore to a history faculty position at the University of New Hampshire. Bolster is noted for writing Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year, and he recently published The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail, which won numerous prizes. He also writes regularly for Points East: The Boating Magazine for Coastal New England. As an engaging public speaker, Bolster hopes to generate discussion aboard the Charles W. Morgan about the transition from whale hunting to whale hugging. After the 38th Voyage, he plans to publish a feature article about his experience and create an illustrated lecture for use in his speaking programs.
Margherita M. Desy is a public historian with degrees from the College of the Holy Cross and George Washington University. Like Herman Melville, Desy’s maritime career began aboard a whaler, Mystic Seaport’s Charles W. Morgan, where she demonstrated climbing the rigging and setting sails for visitors. She was the research historian on the last Morgan restoration and today she is historian for USS Constitution, America’s “Ship of State.” As a 38th Voyager, Desy will compare and contrast the sailing qualities of the Morgan and Constitution – the world’s oldest vessels capable of sailing on their own. Through public presentations based upon her shipboard experiences, Desy will continue in Melville’s footsteps. As Melville opened the worlds of whaling and naval warships to his readers, she will re-open those worlds to today’s public as the only historian to have underway experiences aboard the last American whaler and the oldest U.S. Navy sailing warship.
Jan Ferguson is manager, curator, and interpreter at the Butler Point Whaling Museum, in Mangonui, New Zealand. At the heart of this historic precinct is a whaling museum that her family started 40 years ago and houses artifacts from American and Maori whalers, as well as a beautifully restored 1840s homestead built by an English whaler. Ferguson is currently designing a new exhibit titled “Whaling Today,” highlighting current scientific research, whale strandings, whale rescue, and marine mammal conservation. Working in collaboration with fellow 38th Voyager Caroline Fitzgerald, Ferguson is helping with the documentary “Black Sails,” which depicts the story of American whaling in New Zealand. The Charles W Morgan first anchored in Mangonui in 1847 and the ship would visit the harbor four more times. Ferguson sees the opportunity to sail aboard the ship as a way to revisit the past. She will be taking still photographs and writing of her experience to father interpret the ship for her whaling museum.
Caroline Fitzgerald has a M.A. in Life Writing from the University of East Anglia, England, and a Masters in Science Communication at the University of Otago, New Zealand, focusing on Natural History Documentary Film Making. She has edited two books about early New Zealand: Letters from the Bay of Islands: Story of Marianne Williams (2004) and Te Wiremu: Henry Williams: Early Years in the North (2011). She has also taught English as a Second Language in New Zealand and in Germany. Working in collaboration with fellow voyager Jan Ferguson, Fitzgerald will be filming and conducting research for the production of “Black Sails,” a feature-length documentary film that tells the untold story of the American whalers from New England who crossed the Pacific Ocean to fish for whales in New Zealand waters. The first whaler entered Doubtless Bay in 1792 and for the next 60 years, the American fleets developed working relationships with northern Maori. Today, the stories of Maori and American New Englanders are inextricably joined. This shared history has been largely forgotten, acknowledged only by scattered relics in a handful of museums along the New England coast and in New Zealand, most notably at the Butler Point Whaling Museum at Mangonui in Doubtless Bay, the location of the beginning and end of American whaling in New Zealand.
Richard French has spent much of his life scanning the heavens. He does his stargazing as Wellesley College’s Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor of Astronomy, and Director of Whitin Observatory. He also serves as a science team leader of NASA’s Cassini Mission to Saturn. French challenges his students to find “our place in space and time.” A lover of sailing and whales, he looks forward to a chance to “spend the entire summer (re)reading Moby-Dick, Shakespeare’s plays, the philosophy of science, and eventually all of Simenon’s mysteries in French.” French proposes to utilize 19th-century navigational techniques and instruments from the Wellesley College collection to determine the Morgan’s location at sea, resulting in an online photographic and digital documentary of the navigation project, usable as the basis for public presentations.
Dave Grant spent more than 20 years with the Sandy Hook Ocean Institute at Brookdale Community College. During his tenure he served as Director, Teacher and Adjunct Professor where he brought the mysteries and discoveries of climate, earth, environmental, and related STEM science programs to students of all ages. He currently works as Climate Interpretation Coordinator for the American Littoral Society. “Free” time frequently finds him aboard research vessels around the world doing field work and preparing it for the classroom. Grant has studied whales and whaling and received the USEPA Environmental Quality Award for his work developing marine science programs. During his voyage on the Morgan, Grant plans to make observations of marine life and retrieve plankton samples that will be used to create a “snap-shot” of the plankton community at the time of his voyage. Micrographs will be produced for exhibit, publication, posters, and social-media targeted for a general audience with limited knowledge of marine biology.
William G. Hanson has been an accomplished painter and illustrator for more than three decades. As an illustrator, he has worked for magazines and major publishing houses. His portraits include a Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court and past winners of the Masters for Golf Digest. In current years, his love of the sea and its lore has influenced his choice of subject matter. Hanson is a signature artist member of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), the New England Plein-Air Painters, and an elected artist of the LAA and the North Shore Arts Association. He is an annual participant of the International Marine Art Exhibition and the Modern Marine Masters Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport. Hanson’s intention as a 38th Voyager is to absorb this historic experience in sketches and photographs, which will lead to studio paintings, primarily in oil. He will concentrate on the telling of a story and the crew members’ involvement in the work of keeping the Charles W. Morgan underway and under sail.
Kate Sheridan is an artist-naturalist with BFAs in Illustration and Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. She focuses her work on animals – in life and death – and how they interact with the environment, other animals, and humans. She maintains her own taxidermy practice and has worked extensively at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard where she improved her knowledge of natural history. In 2013 Sheridan served as the youngest participant aboard the Antigua during a summer residency voyage for artists and scientists to Svalbard with the Arctic Circle Program. Aboard the Morgan, Sheridan will produce a handmade illustrated artist book with sights from the journey that will become part of the history of the vessel. It will, in Sheridan’s words, “join the plethora of existing documents both as homage to the tradition [of whaling] and as a conceptually-driven work that could only be produced in a modern time after centuries of history and cultural criticism.”
Provincetown, MA to Boston, MA
Robert Batchelor is an Associate Professor of Modern British History at Georgia Southern University. During the 38th Voyage he hopes to document in moving images and sound the scenes of people aboard a whaleship navigating with traditional nautical instruments. Batchelor will create programming to engage classrooms in STEM learning by offering achievement badges based on solving problems from Edward Ward’s 1817 publication The Lunarian or Seaman’s Guide. He has a strong interest in cultural exchange and public history and has used various means, including films, websites, art installation and even a board game, to reach a broader public.
John Bryant is a Professor in the Department of English at Hofstra University and is a Melville scholar currently working on a biography of the man entitled Herman Melville: A Half-Known Life. He is also the Founding Editor of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies (1990-2013). Bryant will take the opportunity aboard the Charles W. Morgan to gain perspective on Melville’s experiences aboard the Acushnet, a whaler of the same vintage as the Morgan, and use that new viewpoint to revise things he has already written and gain insight into upcoming chapters. As a proponent of digital scholarship, John will use the mapping tool LOCAST to record his leg of the voyage.
Charles Foy received his Ph.D. in History from Rutgers in 2008 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. Foy’s area of expertise is the 18th-century Black Atlantic and his articles on black mariners have appeared in a number of leading journals, including Early American Studies, Slavery & Abolition, Journal of Maritime Research and International Journal of Maritime History. He hopes to use the 38th Voyage to develop a secondary lesson plan entitled “From Slavery to Freedom: Rhode Island’s Black Whalers, 1754-1800,” as well as a blog that will help users visualize what the lives of his subjects would have been like at sea. Foy’s work includes the development of the Black Mariner Database, a compilation of information on more than 24,000 black seamen and maritime fugitives.
Veronica Lawlor is a freelance author/illustrator and educator, and president of Studio 1482, an illustration collective. She plans to use her skills in reportage drawing and oral history to document the 38th Voyage. Added to her drawings of the Charles W. Morgan restoration and whale conservation, this will create a full reportage series of the Morgan story. An international correspondent for Urban Sketchers, Lawlor will post this material to their website as well as on her own blog. Lawlor led Dalvero Academy, a group of artists, in documenting the restoration of the Morgan and producing an exhibit of their works for Mystic Seaport in 2012. The group is preparing another exhibit for 2015. She is working on a series for that exhibit exploring how our reasons for mapping whale migration have changed from hunting to conservation, titled “The Map is not the Territory.”
Jason Mancini is Senior Researcher at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Connecticut College. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Connecticut. He also heads the Indian Mariners Project – a collaboration of scholars interested in the historic relationship between Native American people and the sea. By sailing aboard the Charles W. Morgan, he hopes to better understand the daily lives of Native American whalemen, while gaining a deeper appreciation for an industry that “forged them into citizens of the world.” He will blog about his experiences on the Indian Mariners Project website, and also use his research to plan a collaborative exhibit and educational program between Mystic Seaport and the Indian Mariners Project.
Daniel Payne is a Professor of English and Environmental Sciences at SUNY Oneonta and a Ph.D. graduate of SUNY Buffalo. While his academic work concentrates on American literary environmentalism, his creative work “centers on human perspectives on nature and our relation to the environment.” Payne’s 38th Voyagers’ project focus will be the night sky as seen from aboard a whaleship to gain more perspective on Melville’s Moby-Dick, but also to explore the subject from a more subjective, esthetic perspective. He will use photos from aboard to accompany essays and poems to make the project more accessible. Payne’s biography of Henry Beston, author of The Outermost House, is scheduled for publication by David R. Godine in fall 2014.
Julia Pistell makes daily use of her MFA in non-fiction writing from Bennington as the Director of Writing at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT. Her project will take advantage of her experience as co-creator and host of the “Literary Disco Podcast” which brings serious literature into popular conversation and reviews it in a cultural context. The podcast currently reaches almost 300,000 bi-weekly listeners. She will create a special edition of the podcast that will include a personal essay on a re-examination of Moby-Dick based on her experience and audio from the 38th Voyage.
Sara Reed is a Social Studies teacher at Lamoille Union High School in Hyde Park, Vermont, and wrote her master’s thesis on bringing journal writing into the social studies classroom. Her project will focus on creating a lesson plan on whaling for 10th-grade students of early American history. Her lesson plan will culminate with each student writing their own whaling journal that will include such things as daily entries and a chart of the journey. In 2013 Reed earned the Vermont Ignite Award as one of Vermont’s top educators using technology in the classroom to foster enthusiasm for learning.
Thomas J. Sullivan, Jr. is a mechanical engineer with a degree from Northeastern University, a square-rig sailor, and veteran of the United States Coast Guard. He has spent many years assisting with the restoration of the 100′ wooden National Historic Landmark Tugboat Luna of Boston and on the committee of The Antique & Classic Boat Festival. He has also passed his 100 Ton Master Examination. His project will be based upon the fact that he was instrumental in saving timbers from the Charlestown (MA) Naval Station’s wet storage basin that were used in the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan. One piece of the timber made a trip around Cape Horn with Sullivan and it will be aboard the 38th Voyage as inspiration for future presentations based on images taken by Sullivan.
Boston, MA to Buzzard’s Bay, MA
Emily Button Kambic is a historical archaeologist studying how diversity in the whaling industry shaped modern American ideas of citizenship and identity. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University and currently serves as a park ranger at the Boston African American National Historic Site. During the 38th Voyage, Button Kambic will complete a public history project using the experiences of community on board in 2014 as entry points for exploring the everyday experiences and cross-cultural connections of Native American and African American whalers through public tours and talks at the Boston African American National Historic Site. She will also present talks and write articles discussing her experience onboard the Morgan and specifically address the historical experiences of people of color in the whaling industry.
Dante Francomano is a student at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he is completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music. He has substantial experience in musical study, performance, and composition, and he approaches all of his projects with creativity and energy. As his 38th Voyage Project, Francomano will use the Charles W. Morgan herself as a musical instrument and concert stage for the performance of an original musical composition. During the voyage he will record the Morgan’s soundscape and break it down into its discrete sonic elements, determine how each sound is produced, and how it can be reproduced. This sonic map will serve as the raw material for a musical composition which will be performed onboard the Morgan once she has returned to Mystic Seaport. Francomano was recently living in Cameroon, where he was studying local music and participating in a French immersion program.
Svati Narula is a journalist at The Atlantic magazine and a recent graduate of Dartmouth College and the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program. Her writing covers a wide range of topics, but she strives to communicate with the public about the ocean by frequently writing stories that focus on shipwrecks, fisheries, marine ecology and oceanography. During her time on the Charles W. Morgan, Narula will produce an article that captures the spirit of the 38th Voyage with an emphasis on the changing perceptions of whales and the Morgan as a different kind of whale watching vessel. The final article will be published by The Atlantic.
Ellie Stedall recently completed a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge entitled “Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, and Transatlantic Sea Literature, 1797-1924.” She holds an M.Phil. in American Literature, also from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Corpus Christi College in Oxford. She currently serves as an Assistant Editor on the Oxford English Dictionary. Stedall’s project for the 38th Voyage is two-fold: a log of her time spent onboard the Charles W. Morgan, capturing data such as the ship’s location and speed, changes of sail, and important incidents and sightings; and a descriptive and reflective essay on what it was like to write at sea for those embarking on whaling voyages of several year’s duration. Her essay will analyze the physical challenges of writing in a confined, ill-lit, and unstable environment, and will consider the status of log-keeping on board whaling ships.
Amanda J. Thackray is a professional book and print artist who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has participated in national and international artist residencies, including the recent completion of a year-long residency at the Center for Book Arts in New York, a 2013 residency in the High Arctic as part of the Arctic Circle Program, and an upcoming residency at The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY. During the 38th Voyage, Thackray will document the rigging of the Charles W. Morgan as a complex organism, exploring how rope activates the sails to move the entire vessel forward through the water. Her research and documentation in the form of sketches, photography, video and note-taking will culminate in the form of a striking visual work – prints made from copper plate etchings. The prints will be informed by traditional mapping techniques and will reflect on design and use of rigging, but will also strive to represent less tangible notions of connection and extension.
Karim Tiro holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania and currently serves as a Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Xavier University. An accomplished scholar and writer, he has published on the Native peoples of southern New England, the War of 1812, and other topics. Tiro’s 38th Voyage project is focused on an essay titled “How to Teach History with a Harpoon.” It will examine how whaling can be integrated into the U.S. history survey class using readings, images and possibly music at different points in the course. His time on the Charles W. Morgan will also enable him to incorporate whaling into another essay he is authoring which considers the intersection of video games and public history.
Mike Vogel is a writer, historian, sailor, and keeper of the 1833 Buffalo lighthouse — one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. He has sailed on the Sk/S Christian Radich of Norway and the USCGC Eagle and is the author of several maritime books including Echoes in the Mist and Lighthouses. Vogel’s project for the 38th Voyage was inspired by a receipt for whale oil from the Charles W. Morgan, for use in the Buffalo lighthouse. Through a mix of explanatory and experiential journalism, he will explore how the journey towards illumination of the lighthouse lens started in the barrels that once traveled in the hold of the Morgan.