Futtock Feast!!

In late November a quiet yet significant event took place in the duPont Preservation Shipyard. Led by lead shipwright Rob Whalan, the shipwright team and all the other contributors to the Charles W. Morgan restoration gathered together for a barbeque featuring Whalan’s Deep Fried Turkey and Rigger’s Ribs, as well as unique delectables from countless others. What was the occasion? The final futtock had been laid. In general terms, the major framing work is now complete with approximately 180 futtocks replaced, and so the team deserved this tribute to their work and to their ship. A major milestone in the restoration has been achieved (ahead of schedule!), and a celebration was in order. Assuming that the Morgan will be as well cared for in the future as she has been at the Museum, these timbers will not be disturbed for another 150+ years. The good news is, in case you hadn’t heard, that many of the original lower futtocks, as well as the keel, are strong enough to remain so that she will sail again with at least 10% of her original large timbers in place. Most remarkable! And now, the fairing continues to prepare the framing for the ceiling, the starboard clamp is being shaped, and the keelson section awaits to be scarfed in.

And so with Thanksgiving behind us, we look forward to the balance of the holiday season, and there is no better place to celebrate it than at Mystic Seaport. We began things festively with the Lighted Boat Parade on Nov. 28th. Thirty lighted vessels congregated at the north end of the Museum waterfront, and led by Santa Claus and followed tug John Paul and the rest of the fleet, we slowly paraded down river to the railroad bridge and back, much to the delight of hundreds (dare I say thousands?) who lined the Mystic River banks, marinas, boats, and porches. The Museum’s Liberty and Star participated and were hosts to the Pfizer Singers and bagpipers, respectively, and we were suitably decorated with colorful lights and magical stars, thanks to the efforts of Tim Wells, Arleen Anderson, Sharon Brouillard their helpers.

Our own Lantern Light Tours are underway as well, bringing a unique experience to the Museum and to southeastern Connecticut. There are few traditions with as much depth and seasonal significance as LLT, and I hope that you have made your reservations for this season. Remember, each season is unique, and this year we’ll learn about the special goings-on during the Christmas season in 1876 including the much talked about Mr. Harold King.

Of course, all of greater Mystic awaits the 55th Annual Community Carol Sing on December 19th. It is one of the highlights of the year, and combined with the special free “The Star of Bethlehem” show in the Treworgy Planetarium, there is no better way to bring in the season! Don’t forget your canned goods! New this holiday season is Christmas by the Sea, making the Museum the place to be for families and their house guests throughout the Christmas week. Check out the website for all the schedules and fill out your calendar…..you’ll be glad that you did!

Much has been written about Mystic Seaport and the holiday season, and last year we were named as one of the top twelve places in the USA to find the holiday spirit….and we’ve made it even better! We’re also featured this month in Amtrak’s on-train magazine, Arrive, as a holiday destination. Join us!

PS…Don’t forget that gift of a membership. ‘Tis the SEAson!