The Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship in the world, departs from Mystic Seaport Saturday for her 38th voyage.
In about a month, the Morgan will be docking in Vineyard waters, part of a three month journey that will highlight America's long-gone whaling era.
The wooden whaling ship has been carefully and completely restored at the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport. She is set to depart Mystic Seaport at 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning, when she will be pushed by a tugboat down the Mystic River and towed to New London. The Morgan will be followed by several others vessels, including the fishing vessel Roann, which was once owned by Roy Campbell of Vineyard Haven, and five whaleboats rowed by volunteers and Mystic Seaport staff.
Her destination is New London, Conn. There the ship will be ballasted, the sails will be attached and the crew will undergo sail training.
In the event of high wind and waves on Saturday, the departure will be postponed until Sunday. Information will be posted on Mystic Seaport’s website.
In 1841, the Charles W. Morgan sailed on her first whaling voyage, leaving New Bedford for a three-and-a-half-year journey. Her first captain was Thomas A. Norton of Edgartown.
The Morgan visited every ocean and brought in more than 54,000 gallons of whale oil, once a valuable commodity.
After 37 voyages, the Morgan last set sail on a whaling voyage in 1920. The Morgan has been at Mystic Seaport since 1941.
For her 38th voyage, the Charles W. Morgan will be under the care of Captain Kip Files of Rockland, Me. The ship will depart from New London, bound for Newport, R.I., on June 14. She is scheduled to come to Vineyard Haven harbor from June 21 to June 24. From there she will visit New Bedford, Boston and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.