The  Charles W. Morgan  sailing to Newport on her 38th Voyage, June 15, 2014. Image courtesy Mystic Seaport.

The Charles W. Morgan sailing to Newport on her 38th Voyage, June 15, 2014. Image courtesy Mystic Seaport.


The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

On July 7-8, 2014, I spent 18 hours aboard the world’s last surviving nineteenth-century wooden whaleship.

As a 38th Voyager, my interest was in the moments when nautical communities became literary communities, whether through shared reading, storytelling, narrative writing, performance, or contestation. I've collected the essays that constitute my 38th Voyager project below. Blog posts on the voyage—including videos of sail hoisting—can be found here:

"18 Hours Before the Mast." Los Angeles Review of Books. August 3, 2014.

"Moon Shot." Common-Place 15 (Fall 2014).

"Charles W. Morgan: Her 38th Voyage." Photo Narrative.

"Hardtack." J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 3:1 (2015). (Hardtack pdf)

"A List of Books that I Did Not Read on the Voyage." Leviathan 17:1 (2015). (List of Books pdf)

"Sailing Stories,", (May 2015)

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"In the summer of 2014 the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan sailed for the first time in more than 80 years. During this 38th Voyage, 85 individuals from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds sailed aboard the ship and participated in an unprecedented public-history project. This select group, which included artists, historians, scientists, journalists, teachers, musicians, scholars, and whaling descendants, used their own perspectives and talents to document and filter their experience and will produce a creative product for Mystic Seaport to share with the public.

While rooted in history, the 38th Voyage was not a reenactment, but an opportunity to add to the Morgan’s story with contemporary perspectives. The 38th Voyagers sailed aboard one voyage leg (one night plus the following day) and worked alongside Museum staff, examining every aspect of the journey to better understand the past experiences of those who sailed this ship and others like her."—Mystic Seaport