Training Day

The 38th Voyagers in front of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport.

In the summer of 2014 the Charles W. Morgan will sail for the first time in more than 80 years. During this 38th Voyage, the 19th-century whaleship will sail to seven historic New England ports, engaging communities with their maritime heritage, raising awareness of the changing perceptions about whales, and furthering research about whales, whaling, and whaling peoples.

A select group of adults will be aboard the whaleship during different legs of this journey, participating in an unprecedented public-history project. This group includes artists, historians, scientists, journalists, teachers, musicians, scholars, and whaling descendants. Dubbed the “38th Voyagers,” the 79 adults will use their own perspectives and talents to 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.

On Saturday, April 26, more than half of the 38th Voyagers showed up at Mystic Seaport for a day of orientation in preparation for their time at sea. (The remaining group of Voyagers will visit Mystic Seaport April 30 for their orientation.) The group toured the 1841 whaleship and learned about the restoration, and they spent time learning about the logistics and conditions aboard the ship while underway. They were also brought into the vast Collections Research Center to view the artifacts that are the core of the Museum. A number of Voyagers were even given the chance to climb the rigging of the square-rigger Joseph Conrad (the Morgan‘s rigging is still a work in progress).

The day was inspirational for everyone present and brought the much-anticipated voyage one step closer to the Morgan‘s May 17 departure date.