Nearly a century after its final voyage, the whaleship Charles W. Morgan is riding the seas again. From July 11-13, the historic whaler made a symbolic journey to one of the world's premiere whale-watching sites — NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the Massachusetts coast. While there, the Morgan's crew teamed with NOAA to conduct outreach activities highlighting the sanctuary's role in whale conservation and ocean research.
Built in 1841, the Morgan is a National Historic Landmark, the world's only remaining wooden whaler and the last of an American whaling fleet that once numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Since 1941, the ship's home port has been Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. This summer's voyage is her first beyond the Mystic River since she underwent a three-year restoration that began in 2008.
The Morgan's final voyage as a whaler ended in 1921, completing an 80-year career that logged 37 voyages, most lasting three or more years. Built for durability, she roamed every corner of the globe in pursuit of whales — particularly the mighty sperm whale, a cornerstone of the nation's economy for two centuries. Today, the Morgan is open to visitors and sails as an ambassador for all whales, and for ocean conservation worldwide.