After a five-year restoration project at Mystic Seaport, America’s last wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan, is to sail this summer for the first time in more than eighty years. On board this 1841 whaleship will be Associate Professor Charles R. Foy of EIU’s History Department. As part of Mystic Seaport’s 38th Voyage project (a reference to the thirty-seven whaling voyages the ship took during its working career)Dr. Foy and 78 other historians, literary scholars, artists, scientists, journalists, teachers, musicians, scholars, and whaling descendants were chosen to document their experiences on the whaling ship in one of America’s largest public history endeavors. Dr. Foy will be blogging about the lives of black whalers as well as working on a lesson plan for high school students. In addition, working with Steven DiNaso, Co-Director of EIU’s GISci Lab, Dr. Foy will be plotting his voyage as a means to discuss on his blog the differences between present-day navigation and navigation in the Age of Sail.
The 38th Voyage project will involve the Charles W. Morgan returning to its original homeport, New Bedford, Massachusetts, before sailing on to a number of other New England ports. Through Mystic Seaport’s partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the whaling ship will also spend two days exploring the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Dr. Foy is fortunate that his voyage on the Charles W. Morgan will end with the whaling ship docking in Boston next to the USS Constitution, America’s oldest existing sailing ship. Truly a maritime historian’s dream trip!