The Final Countdown Begins
2014 is here…should I say “Finally!” or “How did it arrive so quickly?” The long-anticipated year is now here, and what a busy, momentous one it will be as the final countdown to the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan begins. In fact, December 23, 2013 marked 100 working days until the Morgan‘s departure from Mystic Seaport on her historic voyage through New England waters. With the fo’c’sle, captain’s cabin, systems, and rig (just to name a few) all coming together in great form, the vessel will be well prepared for May 17-19, the transit window for her first leg from Mystic to New London. What a remarkable weekend and event that will be as the Morgan passes through the Mystic River Bascule Bridge for the first time since her arrival in 1941!
We have so much to look forward to in 2014. Here is just a sampling of what’s in store:
- With Captain Kip Files chosen for the Morgan, work is ongoing to fill out the crew. In addition, applications for the 38th Voyagers‘ positions have been flowing in. With the deadline of January 7, already upwards of 100 have been received.
- One of the significant elements of the 38th Voyage and the crew is that we will be selecting a stowaway to be part of the entire voyage, essentially living on the vessel from her departure from New London until her return. The stowaway will bear witness to all that transpires and will be sharing her/his unique perspective through blogs, photos, and the like. Details will soon be forthcoming.
- The detailed plan for the 22,000-square-foot dockside exhibit for some of the ports of call is taking great shape, which will create engaging and interactive experiences for visitors there.
- Port partners, particularly in New London, New Bedford, and Boston, are growing in number and collaborating with us regarding how best to leverage the Morgan’s visit. Program partners, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are engaged in discussions with us regarding content for at-sea and dockside programs.
- As part of the final months of the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan,” our Mystic Seaport for Educators website will integrate additional Morgan material into its content, serving as an important resource for teachers and students who are utilizing the final days of restoration and the voyage as part of their 2013-14 curricula.
- In early April we anticipate the national release on PBS of the new documentary, Charles W. Morgan, created by noted local filmmaker, Bailey Pryor. His work artistically blends the restoration with the history of the vessel and of whaling, while introducing concepts relating to the changing perceptions of whales.
- Don’t worry, while the 38th Voyage is underway, Mystic Seaport will be alive as always with its great lineup of traditional summer highlights, including the Sea Music Festival, the WoodenBoat Show, the Antique and Classic Boat Rendezvous, and the Antique Marine Engine Exposition.
It’s important to remind everyone that the final months of restoration work on and fitting out of the Morgan will be significant. Make a point of visiting the Shipyard this early spring to witness the final touches, but until you do, follow the progress on our website and YouTube. The Morgan returns to a major homecoming at Mystic Seaport during the first week of August, and an appropriate celebration is planned for August 9. Did I say there is no better time to be a member?