Yesterday, Mystic Seaport celebrated another major milestone in its effort to restore the only wooden whaling ship left in the world.
On Sunday, the crowd overflowed from Mystic Seaport's shipyard, to boats spread across the river, and any piece of shoreline with a view.
White- "Ladies and gentlemen,"
That's Seaport President Steve White.
White- "Welcome to the launching of the Charles W. Morgan on her 172nd anniversary. Welcome!"
The Morgan, the second oldest ship in the United States, has hosted over 20 million visitors in her 72 years at the seaport museum. And for many, this launch is the most anticipated moment of a multi million dollar restoration that has kept the vessel ashore since 2008.
Matthew Stackpole- "This is the beginning of a whole new part of her life."
Matthew Stackpole is the restoration team's ship historian. Previous restorations have enabled the Morgan to serve as a link to whaling industry history, but one that could only be experienced pier side, at the museum. This refit is intended to get the ship back to sea.
Stackpole- "This ship now is enabled once again to go out and be the platform that allows us to open up all those different chapters some of which are inspiring and great, some of which are terrible, but we need to remember them all so we can do better today and tomorrow, so her future is unbelievably bright."
Geoff Kaufman- "She is afloat!"
Remaining restoration work will take up much of the coming year, but once complete in the spring, the Morgan will embark on a voyage to some of New England's most important whaling ports.