CHARLES W. MORGAN visits New Bedford, State Pier
The last wooden whaleship in the world, the Charles W. Morgan, was launched in New Bedford in 1841 and returns for a nine-day visit during her historic 38th Voyage in the summer of 2014. The Morgan will be docked at New Bedford’s State Pier in New Bedford, Massachusetts, from June 28 through July 6 and will be open to the public.
After you’ve explored the 19th-century whaleship, learn more about the Morgan, whales, and whaling in our 22,000 square-foot dockside exhibition. Watch a video on the history and significance of the 173-year-old vessel and view a series of panels that explain the role the American whaling industry had in this country’s history; how the Morgan and whaleships were an early connector of different cultures; and how our perception of the natural world has changed since the Morgan’s whaling career. 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. Participate in a “What Bubbles Up?” activity by writing down your 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 Moby-Dick – “Moby-Dick in Minutes.” You can even try your hand at rowing a whaleboat during select times.
38th Voyage partner, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, will have an exhibit booth to explain how the National Marine Sanctuaries interpret America’s maritime past, promote ocean conservation, and engage 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!
Accompanying the Morgan will be the 10 new whaleboats that were built for the ship’s recent restoration. The boats will participate in multiple events, including a boat parade on June 29, skills challenges and races on July 5, and a sailing regatta on July 6.
Concerts, Whaling Symposium, Fireworks and More
Please note: Due to the weather forecast, the Fourth of July fireworks in New Bedford have been postponed to Saturday, July 5, at 9 p.m.
Additionally, New Bedford is hosting concerts, special programs, a whaling history symposium, public ceremonies, Fourth of July fireworks and much more in celebration of the Morgan‘s homecoming. Please visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s website for details.