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On November 1, 2008 the Charles W. Morgan was hauled out for extensive restoration. It was predicted to take between 3 to 5 years to complete.
The Charles W. Morgan is the last surviving wooden whaling ship from the great days of sail. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, MA, the Morgan had a successful 80-year whaling career. She made 37 voyages before retiring in 1921.
When finished the plan is to take the Morgan on her 38th voyage and sail her back to New Bedford.
I joined Mystic Seaport’s volunteer crew in late July of 2009 and was asked if I would like to work on the Morgan. My job is to scrape paint. Certainly not a glamorous job, but it needs to be done.
During the last six months while I have been scraping paint, I have been taking pictures, and sending them in e-mails to friends who are on my “Victim List.” I sent them to a couple of Mystic staff members and now I have a new job. I will continue to scrape paint and in my new job I will try to show what is going on behind the scenes where visitors can not go.
These pictures are from the day the Morgan was hauled out in Mystic’s Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard.
So to start off with, here is the paint scraping we have been doing. We started with heat but quickly found that all the paint contains lead. Now we use Peel Away which is much safer for everyone.
As time goes on, I will post updates showing the restoration’s progress. For now I am keeping this simple because I am not exactly sure how all this works yet. If no pictures show up when I post this I will need to do a bit more homework.
More to come.