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Photo of Morgan at sea in 1920
The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2014. Courtesy of Mystic Seaport

The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

American whaling ships once roamed the world's oceans by the thousands, pursuing whales for their oil and baleen. Today, there is only one ship left afloat from this once vast fleet. That ship, the Charles W. Morgan, is on a new mission this summer to connect Americans with their maritime heritage and help protect the same whales she once hunted.

What Is the 38th Voyage?

Built in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan sailed on 37 voyages to remote corners of the globe during her 80-year whaling career. The Morgan departed earlier this spring on her historic 38th Voyage following an extensive five-year restoration by Mystic Seaport, setting sail for the first time in nearly a century on a tour of New England’s historic whaling ports.

WATCH LIVE JULY 11-13 AT OCEANSLIVE.ORG
SEE THE EVENT SCHEDULE FOR PROVINCETOWN

The Charles W. Morgan nears State Pier in New Bedford. Courtesy of Mystic Seaport.

The 38th Voyage will take the Morgan from Mystic, Connecticut, to Boston and back over several months. Stops include former whaling towns like New London and New Bedford, with public tours and waterfront activities offered while the ship is in port. Mystic Seaport’s vision for the voyage is to use this remarkable ship as an ambassador of education and inspiration that can people about the importance of endangered whales and their role in our nation’s maritime heritage.

How Are National Marine Sanctuaries Involved?

Located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay about 25 miles east of Boston, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary protects 842 square miles of key feeding grounds for whales. The richness of these waters has long made them a hotspot for maritime activity, from the once-booming whaling trade to the now globally popular pastime of whale watching.

From July 11-13, the Charles W. Morgan will be making day trips to Stellwagen Bank to help draw attention to the sanctuary’s efforts to study, understand and protect endangered whales. NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will be broadcasting live from Provincetown, MA, during all three days of the Morgan’s Stellwagen Bank tour, featuring special guests and live interviews aboard the ship while she sails around the sanctuary.

Fireboats escort the Charles W. Morgan towards the hurricane gate at the New Bedford harbor entrance. Courtesy of Mystic Seaport.

TUNE INTO THE LIVE STREAM AT OCEANSLIVE.ORG JULY 11, 12 & 13 at 10 a.m., noon & 2 p.m. ET!

Where is the Morgan now?

Here are the tentative dates & locations for each leg of the 38th Voyage:

  • May 17 — Charles W. Morgan departs Mystic Seaport for New London.

  • May 24-25, 31 and June 1 — New London, City Pier. Open to the public with the dockside exhibition program.

  • June 7-8, 11-12 — Sea trials off New London.

  • June 14-16 — Sailing window: New London to Newport, RI.

  • June 17 — Newport, Fort Adams State Park. The ship will be open to the public (no dockside exhibition).

  • June 18-20 — Sailing window to Martha’s Vineyard.

  • June 21-24 — Vineyard Haven, Tisbury Wharf. The ship will be open to the public with the dockside exhibition.

  • June 25-27 — Sailing window to New Bedford, MA.

  • June 28-July 6 — New Bedford, State Pier. The ship will be open to the public with the dockside exhibition. There will be a special July 4th celebration and many other community activities.

  • July 7-11 — Sailing window to Provincetown via the Cape Cod Canal. There will be an overnight stop at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (no public access).

  • July 11-13 — Day sails with NOAA at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The ship will not be open to the public, but there will be a free dockside educational exhibit at Provincetown Harbor and special programming on OceansLIVE.org.

  • July 15-17 — Sailing window to Boston.

  • July 18-22 — Boston, Charlestown Navy Yard. The ship will be berthed next to the USS Constitution and open to the public with the dockside exhibition.

  • July 23-25 — Sailing window to Massachusetts Maritime Academy via the Cape Cod Canal.

  • July 26-27 — Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The Morgan will be open to the public with the dockside exhibition. The visit coincides with the centennial celebration of the opening of the Cape Cod Canal.

  • July 28-30 — Sailing window to New London.

  • August 6-8 — Sailing window to Mystic.

  • August 9 — A homecoming celebration awaits the Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport.

Craig MacDonald, superintendent of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, thanks artist Tom Freeman for his sanctuary commemorative painting

Craig MacDonald, superintendent of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, thanks artist Tom Freeman for his sanctuary commemorative painting at the unveiling on May 14, 2014.

CHARLES W. MORGAN EVENT SCHEDULE FOR PROVINCETOWN

Center for Coastal Studies events

Thursday, July 10 at 11 am
Province Lands Visitor Center
Lecture: The History of Whaling and Charles W. Morgan
Presented by the Center for Coastal Studies and Cape Cod National Seashore.
Free, all welcome, no reservations required

Thursday, July 10 at 7 pm
Napi’s Restaurant, Freeman Street, Provincetown
Lecture: Black Sails
New Zealand writer and film-maker Caroline Fitzgerald discusses her latest project, BLACK SAILS, a documentary that explores the relationship between Maori hunters and New England whalers in the first half of the 1800s.
Presented by the Center for Coastal Studies and Napi’s Restaurant. Free, all welcome, no reservations required.

Friday, July 11 at 11 am
Larkin Hall at the Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown
Meet Delilah!
Step inside Delilah, an inflatable, life-sized North Atlantic right whale, and learn all about these rare and amazing animals.
Presented by the Center for Coastal Studies. All welcome, no reservations required, suggested donation $3. All proceeds support the Center’s education programs.

Saturday, July 12 at 3:30 pm
Larkin Hall at the Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown
Lecture by Dr. Sylvia Earle
Famed marine biologist and explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle discusses our changing views of the ocean and its inhabitants. Sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Center for Coastal Studies.
Free, reservations required. To register, call 508-487-3622 x103.

Saturday July 12 at 5:30 pm
Dolphin Fleet dock, Macmillan Pier, Provincetown
Private Sunset/Moonrise Whale-Watch
Join Center for Coastal Studies scientists, friends and family for a private cruise aboard the Dolphin Fleet. Enjoy dinner and drinks; watch the ocean’s most magnificent creatures at play; sail by the Charles W. Morgan and imagine the harbor as it would have been in the 19th century.
All inclusive cost is $120 ($100 for Center members), reservations required. Call 508-487-3622 x 103 to register. All proceeds support the Center’s whale research and rescue programs.

Monday July 14 at 4:30 pm
Venture Athletics Water Sports, Whaler’s Wharf, Provincetown
Kayak tour around the Charles W. Morgan. 
Join Center educator Jesse Mechling for a narrated kayak tour of Provincetown Harbor and an up-close view of the historic whaleship Charles W. Morgan.
Cost $50, reservations required. Call Venture Athletics 508-487-9442 to register. Proceeds supports the Center’s education programs.

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Events 

While in the Provincetown area, the Charles W. Morgan will make three trips into Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, July 11-13. The crew and guests will observe whales in their natural setting, participate in scientific activities, and broadcast live web TV programs.
A NOAA/Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary exhibit tent will be located at the end of MacMillan Wharf and will include information about sanctuary whale research, education and conservation programs.

July 11-13 at 10 am, noon and 2 pm
Online, and at Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum
OceansLive web telecast from aboard the Charles W. Morgan.
A series of live programs will include commentary from historians, scientists, authors and artists on a range of topics including whales, navigation and mapping (yesterday and today), whale conservation programs, whale biology and behavior, and more.
Check www.oceanslive.org for updates on the programming.

July 11-13 from 9 am – 5 pm
MacMillan Pier, Provincetown
Exhibit Pavilion
View exhibits from the sanctuary and other local organizations, including Center for Coastal Studies, Cape Cod National Seashore and NOAA Fisheries.  A model sperm whale will also be on display. A shuttle bus will be available to take visitors to the Forgotten Port exhibit at the Provincetown Museum/Pilgrim Memorial.
Free, all welcome. No reservations required.

July 11-13 from 9 am – 5 pm
Province Lands Visitor Center
Track the Voyages of the Morgan
Visit the Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary exhibit at the Province Lands Visitor Center and track the Morgan’s daily sails using the Automatic Identification System (AIS).
Free, all welcome. No reservations required.

July 11 and 30 from 11 am – 12:30 pm
Provincetown Public Library
A Child’s Sanctuary: Whales in Your Backyard
The sanctuary is home to an amazing array of wildlife and a diverse collection of shipwrecks.  Come to the library and learn all about the sanctuary’s whales. Listen to a story inside a life-size North Atlantic right whale, try on a blubber glove, eat like a whale, and make whale origami. As a bonus you'll learn about the whaleship Charles W. Morgan.
Free, families welcome. No reservations required.

Ongoing
Fathom That!
The sanctuary’s cell phone/smartphone outreach program entitled “Fathom That” will have numerous messages and visuals tied to the 38th Voyage.  Listen to right whale and sperm whale sounds, learn how noisy ships are masking whale communication, and find out more about whales and the sanctuary. Dial 781-304-1013 ext. 38 or go to https://bycell.mobi/stellwagen

Ongoing
From Whaling to Watching Website
Check out the latest updates on the 38th Voyage, local whales and the Morgan’s sails to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Visit http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/whales.

Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum Events

Ongoing, 9am - 7pm daily
Pilgrim Monument, High Pole Hill, Provincetown
FORGOTTEN PORT: Provincetown’s Whaling Heritage
This new exhibition at the Provincetown Museum tells the story of the historical importance of the whaling industry to the town’s development and follows the evolution of the town from hunting whales to saving whales.
Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors, $4 children; children under 4 are free.  More info at www.pilgrim-monument.org or call 508-487-1310

July 11-13 from 10 am to 5pm
Provincetown
Free Shuttle Service
Ride the ”Funk Bus” from the Exhibit Pavilion on Macmillan Pier to Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum.
Free

July 11-13 at 10 am, noon and 2 pm
Mayflower Room, Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
OceansLive web telecast from aboard the Charles W. Morgan.
A series of live programs will include commentary from historians, scientists, authors and artists on a range of topics including whales, navigation and mapping (yesterday and today), whale conservation programs, whale biology and behavior, and more.
Free with Museum admission.

Boston Events

July 16 from 6 pm – 8 pm
Faneuil Hall
Ocean explorer and author Jean-Michel Cousteau will offer his thoughts on the future of the ocean, what's at stake for the whales, and how you can help at a free public lecture at Faneuil Hall starting at 6 p.m. Jean-Michel, the son of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, will headline a line-up of experts in ocean conservation, whale research, maritime history, and marine archeology. The event is sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Free, tickets required. Click here to register.

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