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Charles W. Morgan in 'very good position' to ride out storm

By Kelly Catalfamo

Publication: theday.com

Published July 03. 2014 6:27PM   Updated July 04. 2014 11:34AM
Sean D. Elliot/The Day file photo
The historic whaleship Charles W. Morgan sails in Buzzards Bay en route from Martha's Vineyard to New Bedford Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

The crew of the world’s last wooden whaling ship probably didn’t anticipate a hurricane interrupting its historic 38th voyage, but Mystic Seaport officials said Thursday they don’t expect much trouble from Arthur.

The Charles W. Morgan is currently “in a very, very good position” to ride out the storm, said the seaport’s Director of Communications Dan McFadden. The ship will be in its home port of New Bedford, Mass., until Monday, where a large hurricane barrier operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers guards the main shipping channel.

It’s an “extremely safe harbor,” added McFadden. If the forecast for the New Bedford area worsens, the Morgan may be moved to a more protected place in the harbor, but he said they’d prefer to keep it in its current location, where it is open to the public.

The crew members will just have to take the changing weather conditions as they come, he said, and whether or not to move the ship will be left to the judgment of Capt. Kip Files.

Quentin Snediker, director of the seaport’s shipyard, said he is “not overly concerned” about the Morgan’s safety where she is, but should the weather take a turn for the worse, the crew has prepared extra deck lines, fenders and anchors to secure the boat.

For now, “things look pretty snug here in New Bedford,” Snediker said. He said he, Files and a staff member at Mystic seaport have been closely monitoring the forecast.

They’ve had twice-a-day conference calls with the National Weather Service to get more localized forecasts for the Morgan’s specific location, he said.

The Morgan is scheduled to leave New Bedford Monday, but that will be dependent on weather conditions, said McFadden.


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