From the President
From the President
One Powerful Thing
As the homecoming of the Morgan looms later this week, we find our 38th Voyage emotions, almost three months after it began, changing from anticipation to reflection. What a marvelously successful undertaking the Voyage has been and what a great accomplishment for the staff, volunteers, friends, and donors of Mystic Seaport and the project!
As the conclusion draws near, I have been asked on several occasions what my favorite moment was, or what I will remember most from the Voyage. It is a very difficult question to answer, as there were so many memorable moments, with each leg of the Voyage offering something unique and different: a new perspective on an old theme. There are the obvious contenders for number one on the memory list, which would include the first sail, the first tack, passing through New Bedford’s hurricane barrier, sailing among the whales, lowering a whaleboat on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the ship’s 173rd birthday in Boston, Crew member Cassie Sleeper’s amazing climb aloft captured on a GoPro video camera, Capt. Kip Files’s first pitch at Fenway, arriving in New London at night, and so on. All will long be remembered and cherished in their own right, but what will linger and last most prominently for me is one simple yet powerful thing: the smile and joy on everyone’s face. Those smiles were everywhere, from crew members to guests; deckhands to mates; ancestors to donors; historians to the media, from strangers to school children. It did not matter who you were or what your perspective might be, for all were moved by the renewal of the Morgan’s spirit and by the realization that something once thought impossible was now actually a reality. History came alive and with it the maritime traditions of New England and America.
One could not help but smile; one could not help but be aware that something very significant was happening for the vessel and for the people involved with her. The opening ceremony to our visit in New Bedford raised voices from multiple generations and multiple ethnic communities. And importantly, over the past several weeks the Morgan brought together communities, individuals, and organizations around a common theme of celebration and awareness. We know so much more about each other now, and we realize the importance of our collaboration and united efforts.
But in the end, it all comes down to the smile as a simple yet profound expression of joy and satisfaction, of opportunity seized and shared, and of knowledge of dreams fulfilled.