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New London — The whaling ship Charles W. Morgan and its traveling 20,000-square foot exhibit will be open to the public for the first time from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at City Pier.
The ship and dockside exhibition will also be open on Sunday as well as May 31 and June 1. There is a suggested admission of $5 per person for those ages 6 years and older. Children ages 5 and younger are free, as are current Mystic Seaport members with their membership card.
The world’s last wooden whaling ship has just undergone a 5½-year restoration at Mystic Seaport and is in New London to complete its final preparations for a two-month tour of historic New England ports that begins on June 14. Some of the hands-on activities that accompany the exhibit are knot-tying, handling samples of wood used in the restoration and searching the Morgan’s crew lists for familiar names or hometown connections.
There is also a 46-foot-long, life-sized inflatable model of a sperm whale. Mystic Seaport interpreters will demonstrate 19th-century maritime skills of a cooper, shipsmith, ropemaker and whaleboat rower. There will be live performances including sea chanteys and a condensed rendition of Moby-Dick — “Moby-Dick in Minutes.” At select times, visitors will have the chance to row a whaleboat. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will also have an exhibit about whales.
New London Landmarks, the Custom House Maritime Museum, the New London County Historical Society, and Flock Theatre have created a schedule of events to celebrate New London’s whaling heritage. For more information, visit www.newlondonlandmarks.org/events.html.