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Historic Whaleship Sails for First Time in Nearly 100 Years

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The CHARLES W. MORGAN sails on her first sea trial off New London, CT on June 7, 2014.  Photo by Dennis Murphy/Mystic Seaport

The CHARLES W. MORGAN sails on her first sea trial off New London, CT on June 7, 2014. Photo by Dennis Murphy/Mystic Seaport

MYSTIC, Conn. (June 7, 2014)   The 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan sailed for the first time in almost a century  on Saturday, June 7, on the first day of sea trials for her 38th Voyage. The ship cast off from City Pier in New London at 9:30 a.m. and proceeded out onto Long Island Sound, where she spent the day conducting sail training drills and maneuvers. She returned to New London at 3:30 p.m.

“The ship exceeded all expectations and performed wonderfully. She is faster than we thought she would be, she turns easier, and she handles really well. We could not be more pleased,” said Capt. Kip Files, the 22nd master of the Morgan. “There is no one alive today who has sailed one of these whaleships who can tell us how they perform, so we really learned a lot today. We have a great voyage ahead of us.”

The National Historic Landmark vessel has been a static exhibit at Mystic Seaport since 1941 and has not sailed since the early 1920s. Her last whaling voyage, her 37th, ended in 1921. The sea trials are to prepare her to sail to historic ports in Southern New England on a 38th Voyage.

Sea trials will continue on June 8, 11, and 12.

The ship embarks on her voyage, with a scheduled transit to Newport, RI, on Saturday, June 14. Following that stop, the ship will then visit Vineyard Haven, Mass.; New Bedford, Mass.; and Boston, where she will dock next to the USS Constitution. She will also anchor off of Provincetown, Mass. for day sails to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, where the Morgan will team up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to observe whales in their natural environment and call attention to mankind’s changing relationship with the natural world.

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