Sydney Lang and brother Sam Lang make sailor's valentines. Alison L. Mead

This weekend the crowds of people heading to Tisbury Wharf to visit the Charles W. Morgan seemed as big as the historic whaleship they had come to see.

The visitors were greeted by a man with a violin and a ukulele who sang and told stories.

“It was early in the morning just as the sun rose and the man at the masthead yelled out ‘there she blows!’” he began.

There were numerous exhibitions, a coloring station for children, a six-minute video about the ship, multiple learn-about-whale areas and a life size blown-up whale.

And all this was even before the line to the ship began. Guides were stationed every 10 feet along the line to answer questions and give out information. They explained how whales were caught, and how slim the chances of actually catching them were. They spoke about captains who saved the Morgan, and the most dangerous voyages.

The stories, the boats zooming by and the songs coming from the wharf made the wait go by quickly. In no time everyone was greeted with the words they had come to hear — “Welcome aboard the Charles W. Morgan!”

Everyone was elated to be aboard the 173 year old ship. One by one visitors were led below deck. They whispered to each other and asked questions. “Where did they keep the whales?” “How did so many people live down here?”

On the main deck pictures were taken, more questions asked, and eyes turned upwards towards the masts that towered above. The beauty was overwhelming.

“Wow,” everyone kept saying. “Wow. And in the background the songs from the wharf continued. “The whale soon arose, sunward he lay...”

--COLETTE LATHAN

Multimedia Credit: 
Alison L. Mead and Ivy Ashe

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