The Final Details

Lead Shipwright Rob Whalen watches as Gary Anderson installs the eagle on the Charles W. Morgan.

Lead Shipwright Rob Whalen watches as Gary Anderson installs the eagle on the Charles W. Morgan.

MYSTIC – After more than five years of restoration and hundreds of thousands of work hours, the staff in the Shipyard are putting the final touches on the Charles W. Morgan in preparation for her scheduled departure Saturday morning, May 17.

A crane was brought in to load heavy items such as casks, anchors, and a whaleboat. The gangway was busy with the new crew moving their belongings on board. A high point, and a symbolic moment, was the installation of the new reproduction eagle on the transom. An iconic detail of the ship, the gold eagle was carved by local expert woodcarver Gary Anderson.

The tug Sirius, from the Vineyard’s Tisbury Towing, arrived on Thursday. Sirius will be responsible for pushing the Morgan down the Mystic River and then seeing her all the way to City Pier in New London once they reach Fishers Island Sound beyond Noank. Late in the day, Capt. Kip Files could be seen hanging over the transom as he worked with the tug’s crew to carefully situate the tug’s prow in the metal bracket installed on the stern to allow it to drive the ship.

All eyes are now on the weather forecast, as the conditions tomorrow morning dictate whether or not the transit to New London can go forward as scheduled. Rain would not necessarily delay the trip, wind is the primary concern.

The ship is scheduled to cast off at 9:15 a.m. after a brief ceremony in the Shipyard that begins at 8:45 a.m. The Museum gate will open at 8:15 a.m. for those who wish to attend.

We are carefully watching the weather and an update on the status of the departure will be posted later today. Please check the website home page for the latest news. Should the trip be delayed, the next available opportunity is a 10 a.m. departure on Sunday morning, May 18.