Whaling Ship Charles W. Morgan Returns to the Sea

Cannons boomed and crowds cheered wildly as the country’s last surviving wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan, was returned to the water at Mystic Seaport, Conn. Sunday — 172 years after she was first launched on July 21, 1841.

In contrast to that day, when she splashed stern-first into New Bedford Harbor, the whaling ship this time was gently lowered into the placid Mystic River. The operation took nearly 20 minutes and was accompanied by the singing of sea chanteys and the reading of a poem.

The launch of the blacked-hulled whale ship followed a nearly five-year, $7 million restoration to get the square-rigged vessel sailing again.

Morgan was christened Sunday by Sarah Bullard, a descendant of Charles Waln Morgan, the ship’s namesake. She broke a ceremonial bottle across the bow containing water from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, waters where the ship hunted whales.

To read continue reading and to see a video of the launch visit www.courant.com

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