Tags Posts tagged with "Charles W. Morgan"

Charles W. Morgan

by -
0

The whaleship Charles W. Morgan departed Vineyard Haven harbor Wednesday morning, accompanied by the sounds of horns and cannons from nearby boats and the cheers and applause of people gathered on nearby docks. Onlookers at East Chop and West Chop followed her progress out of the harbor.

During her 80-year whaling career, which included 37 globe-girdling voyages, the Charles W. Morgan never visited Vineyard Haven. Built in New Bedford in 1841 and now preserved, reconstructed in authentic detail, and relaunched by the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, the Morgan, with Captain Kip Files at the helm, arrived at the Tisbury Wharf Company’s dock last Wednesday, after a splendid day’s sail from Newport for a seven-day stay.

During the four days she was available for tours, the Morgan hosted 7,822 Islanders and visitors; Island school children visited Monday and Tuesday.

She was bound for New Bedford, on a route down Vineyard Sound, through Quicks Hole into Buzzard’s Bay. The Morgan will be in New Bedford, welcoming visitors until July 6, when she will travel through the Cape Cod Canal to Provincetown, followed by Stellwagen Bank, then to Boston from July 18-22, before returning to a welcome home in Mystic, Connecticut.

by -
1
A man successfully attempts to fix the sail of the Charles Morgan, which got tangled mid sail. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Following a busy weekend of visitors, the Charles W. Morgan is expected to leave Tisbury Wharf for New Bedford at 9 am, Wednesday morning.

“When we leave is the most frequently asked question,” a Morgan crewmember manning the massive inflatable whale said Tuesday morning.

During her 80-year whaling career, which included 37 globe-girdling voyages, the Charles W. Morgan never visited Vineyard Haven. Built in New Bedford in 1841 and now preserved, reconstructed in authentic detail, and relaunched by the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, the Morgan, Captain Kip Files, arrived at the Tisbury Wharf Company’s dock last Wednesday, after a splendid day’s sail from Newport.

Vineyard Haven is one of several stops along a promotional route that will have her visit such New England ports as New London, Newport, New Bedford, Boston, Provincetown, and cruise over the right whale sanctuary at Stellwagen Bank.

by -
6

First Martha’s Vineyard visit in her 80-year career.

During her 80-year whaling career, which included 37 globe-girdling voyages, the Charles W. Morgan never visited Vineyard Haven. Built in New Bedford in 1841 and now preserved, reconstructed in authentic detail, and relaunched by the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, the Morgan, Captain Kip Files, arrived at the Tisbury Wharf Company’s dock Wednesday, after a splendid day’s sail from Newport.

aase-jones.JPG

Aase Jones takes a picture of the Charles Morgan. Photo by Michael Cummo.

flag-morgan.JPG

An old steamboat was one of the ships following the Charles Morgan. Photo by Michael Cummo.

morgan-side.JPG

The Charles Morgan sails toward Vineyard Haven. Photo by Michael Cummo.

west-chop.JPG

The Charles Morgan rounds West Chop on its way in to harbor. Photo by Michael Cummo.

tugboat.JPG

A tugboat helps the Charles Morgan into harbor. Photo by Michael Cummo.

sails.JPG

The sails of the Charles Morgan. Photo by Michael Cummo.

photo.JPG

Looking ahead on the Charles W. Morgan. Photo by Doug Cabral.

photo (4).JPG

The crew aboard the Charles W. Morgan. Photo by Doug Cabral.

matthew-stackpole.JPG

Vineyarder and Mystic fundraiser Matthew Stackpole of West Tisbury is the go to docent aboard Morgan, describing her history and reconstruction to all aboard, in groups and one-one-one. Behind him is Dick Vietor, a Mystic trustee and, with his family, a longtime Edgartown summer resident. Photo by Doug Cabral.

jay-wilbur_aase-jones.JPG

Harbormaster Jay Wilbur, left, and Aase Jones chat while watching the Charles Morgan sail towards Vineyard Haven. Photo by Michael Cummo.

jay-grande.JPG

Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande looks out over the water as the Charles Morgan glides past. Photo by Michael Cummo.

BNPP5711.JPG

Vineyarders crowd a jetty to get pictures of the Charles Morgan as it sails into Vineyard Haven. Photo by Michael Cummo.

BNPP5668.JPG

All hands on deck! Photo by Michael Cummo.

BNPP5617.JPG

Entering the harbor Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Michael Cummo.

BNPP5547.JPG

A man successfully attempts to fix the sail of the Charles Morgan, which got tangled mid sail. Photo by Michael Cummo.

BNPP5453.JPG

The Morgan arrives in Vineyard Haven. Photo by Michael Cummo.

BNPP5407.JPG

The Charles Morgan had a small flotilla of boats following its path to Vineyard Haven. Photo by Michael Cummo.

Morgan-38th-Voyage-Map-2014.jpg

The route of the Morgan's 38th voyage. Courtesy Mystic Seaport.

Vineyard Haven is one of several stops along a promotional route that will have her visit such New England ports as New London, Newport, New Bedford, Boston, Provincetown, and cruise over the right whale sanctuary at Stellwagen Bank.

After a longish tow from her Ft. Adams dock, at the end of a hauser from Ralph Packer tug Sirius, Captain Paul Bangs, Morgan dropped the towline and added sails as she approached Gay Head. Robert McNeil’s Cangarda, a restored 19th century steam yacht, joined a growing flotilla of small craft, sail and power, trailing the Morgan, delighted and astonished at this visitor from two centuries ago. Bailey Norton of Edgartown was aboard Cangarda. He is a descendant of Thomas Norton, captain of the Morgan on her first whaling voyage.

Rounding West Chop, Captain Files chose to take a hitch into Vineyard Haven Harbor, before turning around clew up his sails and take Sirius alongside to move her to her mooring at the Tisbury Wharf Company, which has been dredged and deepened especially to make a comfortable berth for the whaleship, which draws as much as 17 feet.

The cluster of smaller craft, some of which had trailed Morgan from Rhode Island Sound, but also including Vineyard Haven craft, including the schooners Charlotte, Malabar, Perception, Alabama, and Ishmael (never seeming so brilliantly named) followed her. Crowds watched her progress east in Vineyard Sound at West Chop, and Islanders gathered at Coastwise Wharf and Tisbury Wharf, and anywhere else that served as a vantage point, to welcome Morgan in her 21st century incarnation.

Morgan is a barque, which means three masts, with square sails on the foremast and the main and fore and aft sails on the mizzen. She was launched originally as a ship, which means square sails on every mast. Today, in addition to two jibs and a staysail, plus mizzen and mizzen topsail, she carries a course foresail, with two topsails and a topgallant sail above. On the main, there is the course, two topsails, the topgallant and a royal at the very apex of the rig. By contrast, Shenandoah, Vineyard Haven’s square-rigged centerpiece since 1964, carries two square sails on her foremast, a topsail and a topgallant. She’s known as a topsail schooner.

Nantucket was a prosperous, world-famous whaling hub. New Bedford became the world capital of the whaling industry and the richest city in North America in the 19th century.

The Vineyard, apart from shore whaling by Wampanoag Indians, lived on farming, shore fishing, and coastwise schooners passing north and south through Nantucket and Vineyard sounds. Its contributions to the 19th century heyday of American whaling were crewmen — Azorean sailors, Gay Head (Wampanoag) Indian harpooners, and Vineyard sailors, mates and captains. The Morgan’s visit memorializes their vital places in her celebrated commercial history.

The Vineyard and Gay Headers were represented Wednesday by Elizabeth James-Perry, a Wampanoag descendent for whom the trip was a spiritual recapture of sorts, and Matthew Stackpole of West Tisbury, a professional fundraiser for Mystic, who has helped raise millions of dollars for Morgan’s reconstruction. Another Vineyarder, the craftsman, boatbuilder, and artist Frank Raposa, who is among his many talents an expert caulker, joined the Morgan construction team in Mystic when it came time to caulk Morgan. And, Gannon & Benjamin, the Vineyard Haven boatbuilders, constructed one of Morgan’s whaleboats, hanging in davits today.

Morgan’s maiden voyage, 35 in her crew, took her back and forth across the Atlantic, around Cape Horn to the Arctic and back again around Cape Horn, to her New Bedford home port, three and a third years in all. The captain was Thomas Norton. He and many of the crew were Vineyarders. Fortunate and profitable throughout her career — despite howling storms, Arctic ice, hostile natives where Morgan stopped for water and provisions, attacks by Confederate raiders — Morgan, an early factory ship, came home with a variety of products in demand worldwide and especially sperm oil, the premium lubricant and fuel for lanterns and machines until petroleum was discovered and refined. As many as six of Morgan’s 21 captains during her whaling career were Vineyarders and many of her skilled crew, harpooners and boatsteers were Gay Headers. Morgan was a profitable business that enriched her owners and investors, and created livelihoods for captains and crewmen.

Morgan, a National Historic Landmark, the oldest operating American commercial vessel still afloat, and the last wooden whaleship remaining in the world, was decommissioned in 1941 and became a Mystic Seaport exhibit. Today, she did what she knows how to do very well – sailing fast, handling well, getting where she was going efficiently and with an easy motion that her passengers, most of them at least, found comfortable.

Visitors welcome

Vineyard residents and visitors are invited to board the 173-year old whaleship Charles W. Morgan, faithfully restored by Mystic Seaport shipwrights, on her third port stop on her historic 38th Voyage. The whaleship, built in 1841 in New Bedford, will be moored at Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven and will be open to the public June 21-24.

Morgan’s last whaling voyage, her 37th, ended in 1921 at New Bedford, and although she did not sail from Martha’s Vineyard or discharge her cargos at Vineyard ports, on this 38th voyage, she is paying a call at Martha’s Vineyard to recognize the contributions to her commercial success made by dozens of Vineyard captains and crew members who sailed in her.

Visitors who tour the Morgan during her Vineyard stay will learn about whales and whaling in the Mystic Seaport Museum’s 22,000 square-foot dockside exhibition. There will be video on the history and significance of the meticulously restored vessel, and a series of panels explain the role the American whaling industry had in this country’s history; how the Morgan and other whaleships connected distant and varied global cultures; and how Americans’ perceptions of the natural world have changed since the Morgan’s whaling career. Hands-on activities include knot tying, handling samples of wood used in the restoration, and searching the Morgan’s crew lists for familiar names or hometown connections.

Spouter, a 46-foot-long, life-sized inflatable model of a sperm whale will be on hand, and visitors may join in “What Bubbles Up?,” an opportunity to write down their whale related memories, questions, or sketches and attach them to a humpback whale sculpture.

Mystic Seaport representatives will demonstrate the 19th-century maritime skills of a cooper, shipsmith, ropemaker, and whaleboat oarsman. There will also be live performances including sea chanteys, the interactive “Tale of a Whaler,” and a condensed rendition of Moby-Dick,  “Moby-Dick in Minutes.” Visitors may even take a turn rowing a whaleboat.

And, the 38th Voyage partner, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, will be at hand to explain how the National Marine Sanctuaries interpret America’s maritime past, promote ocean conservation, and engage in cutting edge research. They will show how whales feed and what they feed on, and there will be videos that describe the National Marine Sanctuary System, whales, whale research, and whaling heritage. Kids can even create their own whale hats.

by -
0
The whaleship Charles W. Morgan, in view of West Chop, Martha's Vineyard. — Doug Cabral

Dispatch from onboard the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, 1:50 pm, Wednesday, June 18, 2014:

The whaleship Charles W. Morgan, as seen from the boat of Vineyard Haven harbormaster Jay Wilbur.

Most of the sails are set, but more are in waiting. The captain has taken a hitch toward Tarpaulin Cove on Naushon Island. There he will tack or jibe and head across toward Menemsha Hills. The breeze is strong, and there is a fair current in the sound, so she is hurrying along. He says that he will try to duck into VH harbor under sail, then turn around and head out of the harbor to get sail off.

by -
0
From onboard the Morgan, headed for Vineyard Haven. — Doug Cabral
The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2014. The whaleship departed Newport Wednesday morning, bound for Martha's Vineyard.
The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2014.
The whaleship departed Newport Wednesday morning, bound for Martha’s Vineyard.

The Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining wooden whaleship of the 19th century American fleet, departed Fort Adams, off Newport, Rhode Island, Wednesday morning, bound for the Vineyard. The ship is including a stop in Vineyard Haven this week as part of her 38th voyage. This will be her first-ever stop at Martha’s Vineyard. Islanders will be able to view the ship on her way to the Island, as well as tour the ship after arrival, beginning Saturday, June 21.

The view of Fort Adams, off Newport, Rhode Island, from on board the Charles W. Morgan.
The view of Fort Adams, off Newport, Rhode Island, from on board the Charles W. Morgan.

She is expected to arrive in Tisbury Wharf Wednesday late afternoon/evening, where she will be greeted by sailboats flying pennants. See a route map here.

The earliest post to catch a glimpse of the Morgan on her way to the Vineyard will be Gay Head. As the ship draws nearer, she can be viewed all the way along the North Shore from points such as Menemsha Hills Reservation, Lambert’s Cove Beach, and Makonikey. Eventually, the ship will come into view from West Chop, Eastville Beach, and the Vineyard Haven jetty as she arrives in Vineyard Haven Harbor.

You can follow a live progression of the Morgan’s 38th voyage at mysticseaport.org/38thvoyage/chart/.