Live broadcast at sanctuary from restored whaling ship

ALPENA -The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center will be communicating Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. through live broadcasts from the recently restored whaling ship Charles W. Morgan while it takes its first voyage in the Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary. After six years of restoration at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, the last surviving ship in the American Whaling Fleet is ready to take it’s 38th voyage to the Pacific whaling grounds.

“Instead of a hunting and harvesting journey, in this voyage, the Morgan will be an ambassador for ocean conservation,” Friends of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Coordinator Cathy Green said. “The ship will be sailing to ports in New England, New Bedford and the Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary. This will be her first voyage in nearly 100 years. The ship has been at the museum since 1941, and was sailing from around 1841-1921.”

The Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an active whale-watching destination, and therefore a fitting location to promote conservation of the ocean through a former whaling ship.

“Each broadcast will be live from the deck of the Morgan,” Green said. “We will be talking to historians, scientists, authors and artists aboard the ship to learn about all the different aspects of sailing and design on the Morgan, along with her story.”

The Maritime Heritage Center has a temporary exhibit set up focused on the Morgan and her story, along with the preparation for this special voyage.

“Following the live broadcasts, we will also be showing two documentary films that feature archaeological investigations of a whaling shipwreck in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, near the Hawaiian islands,” Green said. “Showtimes for these two films will be 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. after each broadcast.”

The live broadcast and films are free events and open to everyone. There also will be archaeologists on hand to answer questions about these ships and finding them near the Hawaiian islands. Staff from the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary were involved in helping to find the wrecks of these historic vessels in the Marine National Monument.

“This really ties together into one great dynamic story,” Green said. “We’re very excited to bring this event to Alpena, and see the Morgan take her first voyage for ocean conservation.”

Anyone who can’t make it to the Maritime Heritage Center to enjoy the broadcast is invited to watch it from home and submit questions at www.oceanslive.org.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.