A Vineyard Welcome

The CHARLES W. MORGAN sailing off Gay Head on Martha's Vineyard.

The Charles W. Morgan sailing off Gay Head on Martha’s Vineyard.

VINEYARD HAVEN — The 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan arrived in Vineyard Haven today in the next phase of her 38th Voyage to ports across Southern New England. Greeted by a flotilla of schooners, catboats, and other small craft, both sail and powered, the ship was eased into the port with the assistance of the tug Sirius. Volleys of cannon fire erupted as she passed the breakwater and into the harbor.

The Morgan departed Newport, RI, this morning and was towed out of Narragansett Bay and across the mouth of Buzzards Bay into Vineyard Sound. Once in the Sound, the crew cast off the tow and continued by sail alone to the mouth of the harbor at Vineyard Haven. The entire trip was about 42 nautical miles.

The Morgan is currently berthed at Tisbury Wharf.

“We are very excited to take the Charles W. Morgan to the Vineyard because the ship has a lot of ties to the island. Many of her crew hailed from this place, and it is great to bring her here so the community can reconnect with their whaling heritage,” said Capt. Kip Files, the 22nd master of the Morgan.

The ship will be open to the public from Saturday, June 21 to Tuesday, June 24. Visitors can tour the ship and explore an expansive dockside exhibition that includes information on the history of whaling, demonstrations of maritime skills, and live music and performances.  A focal point is Spouter, a 46-foot-long, life-sized inflatable model of a sperm whale. Visitors also 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. Visitors will even have the opportunity to try their hand at rowing a whaleboat during select times.

The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with the last boarding of the ship to take place at 4:30 p.m. There is a suggested admission of $5 for those ages 6 years and older. Children ages 5 years and younger are admitted for free, as are current Mystic Seaport members with their membership card.

The dockside exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.