Training for the 38th Voyage: Visiting the Charles W. Morgan

In late April, I went to Mystic Seaport Museum, as part of training and preparation for the 38th Voyage. As previously noted, I’ve been to the Seaport many, many times, and have lived in Mystic twice – once while studying at the Seaport, and once while working there. So it is not a new place to me, but it is always a favorite.

This time, I went early so I could spend a day and a bit more working in the G.W. Blunt White Library, collecting information to add to my ShipIndex.org database. I got some help in the form of a smart young boy who was there with his mom; she was doing some genealogical research, and his computer wasn’t working, so I asked if he’d like to help me. I gave him a quick rundown on using the Library of Congress classification (because of course he was more familiar with the Dewey system used in his school and public libraries) and then we were off.

I had this view of a model of the whaler Two Brothers, from my desk:

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After posting this on my Facebook page, several friends described how they’d seen the real ship, at its wreck site, in Hawaii.

The actual training program began the next morning. All the Voyagers who attended that training session (there was one other) gathered in the morning to do introductions, and learn a bit about the Seaport. As far as I could tell, only one Voyager had never been to the Seaport before. He was leaving early, too, to get to Vienna – I felt like maybe he wasn’t taking this thing seriously enough.

We broke into three groups, and my group was the first to visit the Morgan. Built in 1841, she has just completed a five-year restoration project. Many timbers were replaced, but some originals still remain, as seen here:

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The portion on the left dates to the ship’s construction (so, 1840 or so) and the portion on the right is brand new, with this restoration, to replace rot.

In the hold, we saw some of the extensive fittings and changes made for the voyage. Extensive fire safety systems, and plumbing systems, have been installed for the voyage, including a bank of heads (toilets). While they’re installed in a permanent fashion, most of these will be removed when the ship returns to Mystic in August. Look at all of this:

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Here’s the crew bunks, where we’ll sleep. (We may have the option of sleeping on deck, if we so choose.) We’ll board at about 7pm the night before, spend the night on board, then sail away very early the next morning.

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We then visited the Collections and Resource Center, which will get its own post.

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