Sean Bercaw: Voyage Journal
Date July 11th Page Kept By: Sean S. Bercaw, 2nd Mate
The Mate gave the order to low away and the whaleboat glided down to the water. Just above the waves, myself and the rest of the rowers descended down the boat falls. With a splash we were dropped into the sea, unhooked and with alacrity pulled way. The intensity of steering clear of the ship was intense, so it wasn’t until minutes later that I looked back and saw the MORGAN-wow, she was AWESOME!! Full sail, gliding along in the almost imperceptible breeze, this vessel that had lain dormant for 93 years, out strutting her stuff, the squad members rowing the boat having the best view as we pulled away- but then, gazing ahead-FLUKES. The word had gone out amongst the Humpbacks that were was a whaleship in ‘town’, and rather than running as in the days of old, they had come to see this whaleship with her new message. The whales cavorted about, coming up within their bubble nets, their jaws gaping as they ate their fill of the sandlings. One youngster was especially inquisitive and came over to investigate- we were ordered back to the ship BUT, I had to call back on the radio and say, “Sorry, can’t move right now, there’s a whale beneath the whaleboat and our oars would hit him!”
I was manning the gangway, thousands of visitors flowing across the decks, the people of New Bedford flocking to the ship.
As one of the visitors were departing they said, “thank you.” I responded, :”You’re welcome, no worries.” But then they shook my hand and said, “THANK YOU”- their emotion and depth of how they’d be moved was palpable…
Luckily I had dark glasses on so they couldn’t see the tears in my eyes-
Although sailing the ship was magical, this brief moment in time was my high point of the 38th Voyage