Launched in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan was once just one ship in a fleet of more than 2,700 vessels. Now it is the last wooden whaling ship in the world and America’s second oldest ship still afloat. (Only the USS Constitution is older.) During its 80 years of service, the Morgan went on 37 voyages. It roamed the globe in search of whales, rounding Cape Horn and reaching the Arctic. Beyond this history, it also has a unique charm: climbing its main mast is as close as you will get today to feeling what it was like to be a whaler or a pirate, looking out over the endless ocean in search of the next quarry.
The main truck is 110 feet above the main deck. Should you not be able to go to Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport to see it in person, this video gives a solid approximation of the experience. Watch as “deckhand Cassie” climbs to the top of the main mast, all filmed with a GoPro HERO3+. See the view she experiences in the video at the bottom, and understand why—dangerous though their journeys might have been—so many people are drawn to the sea.
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