MYSTIC — On March 25 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries announced its partnership with Mystic Seaport to support the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan. Nearly 100 years after its last whaling voyage, the Morgan will sail across the New England coast this summer to celebrate America’s maritime heritage and the whales that gather in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
The Morgan, a National Historic Landmark built in 1841 and restored to seaworthy status over the past five years, is the flagship of the watercraft collection at Mystic Seaport. Over an 80-year whaling career, the ship sailed on 37 voyages to the remote corners of the globe, including waters of national marine sanctuaries in California, Hawaii, and American Samoa.
“America’s pursuit of whales is an epic story of global dimensions that shaped the nation’s identity,” said Daniel J. Basta, director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “Today, thanks to pioneering work by sanctuary scientists and others to understand whale behavior, and develop conservation strategies to reduce risks to whales, we’re writing a new chapter based on respect and stewardship for these magnificent creatures of the deep.”
During the 38th Voyage, NOAA will work with Mystic Seaport and its partners to conduct a series of science and outreach activities. The ship’s stop in each port will be accompanied by a dockside exhibit customized for each location. Upon its return to Mystic Seaport, the ship will resume its status as an exhibit at the Museum.
“The Charles W. Morgan is an exceptional and truly unique artifact of our shared maritime heritage,” said Mystic Seaport President Steve White. “While the ship is an American icon and a living portal into an important chapter of American history, she now embarks on a new journey with transformed purpose. She’s no longer an instrument of commerce but a source of education, knowledge, and understanding.”
The Morgan will leave Mystic Seaport for New London, Conn. on May 17. After a month-long fitting out period, she will embark on her voyage to historic New England ports, including Newport, R.I.; Vineyard Haven, Mass; New Bedford, Mass.; Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Boston, Mass.