The 38th Voyage
7:57 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Charles W. Morgan Undergoes Sea Trials

The world's last wooden whaling ship has taken to the water under her own power for the first time in almost 100 years.

The Charles W. Morgan is docked in New London, preparing for her 38th voyage.

She underwent sea trials under full sail both Saturday and Sunday. She was towed from her berth at New London's City Pier out into Long Island Sound. Once there, she spent time conducting sail training drills and maneuvers.

“The ship exceeded all expectations and performed wonderfully,” said Capt. Kip Files, the 22nd master of the Morgan. “She is faster than we thought she would be. She turns easier, and she handles really well. We could not be more pleased. 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 Morgan has been on display at Mystic Seaport since the 1940s. She last sailed a commercial voyage in the 1920s. She's currently being prepared to take to the ocean to visit several New England ports, including New Bedford -- where she was built -- and Martha's Vineyard, the home of several of her previous captains.