The sights and sounds of New Bedford Pier

On Wednesday, June 25, the Morgan appeared out of the mist of Buzzards Bay and sailed in to her homeport of New Bedford.

A ghostly image emerges at the mouth Buzzard's Bay  Photo Courtesy of Larry Davis

A ghostly image at the mouth of Buzzards Bay
Photo Courtesy of Larry Davis

She sits like a silent wooden giant at the New Bedford State Pier. Her masts are set against the familiar city skyline and the busy working waterfront.

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Across the harbor is Fairhaven. That’s where Herman Melville hopped aboard the Acushnet at the age of 22. It was the winter of 1841 when he left on a whaling voyage that would later inspire him to write the novel Moby-Dick.

That same winter of 1841 the Morgan was built and launched at Jethro and Zachariah Hillman’s shipyard. I was told she is currently sitting just 500 feet from where she was berthed 170 years ago.

In Moby-Dick, Melville wrote about the many characters that walked these streets. Today, the city remains a rich cultural crossroads. On the last transit, I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Whittemore. He is Melville’s great-great-grandson and he wanted to return his copy of Moby-Dick back to the Whaling City.

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I met many people on New Bedford’s State Pier today. They came to celebrate the Morgan‘s long-awaited homecoming.

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A glorious homecoming celebration at the New Bedford State Pier

From curious onlookers to the descendants of whaling masters, I heard their stories and learned about the many ties we all share with Charles W. Morgan. Here are some of those stories!