The Real Housewives of Martha's Vineyard

This article first appeared in the May/June issue of Martha's Vineyard Magazine.

“For a girl or a woman to embark on a long whaling voyage required great fortitude and determination,” wrote Henry Beetle Hough, co-author with Emma Mayhew Whiting of Whaling Wives, published in 1953. Sailing with her whaling-captain husband meant that a wife could avoid a separation that might last as long as five years, but life as the only woman aboard ship was, said Hough and Whiting, “a prospect of bleakness and hazard.”

Last of Her Kind, Whaleship Charles W. Morgan Has Strong Ties to the Vineyard

The last American wooden whaling ship is in Vineyard Haven and will be open for public tours beginning Saturday. The Morgan arrived under sail on Wednesday and is docked at the Tisbury Wharf.

Whaleship Is Welcomed to Vineyard Waters

Crowds on onlookers packed the shorelines along the north shore and Vineyard Haven harbor and cheered the arrival of the Charles W. Morgan with water salutes, tears of joy, and thousands of photographs taken.

Young Whaleman's Logs Give Voice to First Voyage

In the log book of the first voyage of the Morgan, 26-year-old second mate James Coffin Osborn of Edgartown relates the joys and agonie of whaling.

Weathering Storms, Pirates and Wars, Morgan Was Nearly Consumed by Fire

Islanders from Nonouti attacked her in the western Pacific. She caught fire off the Azores, shipped seas over her stern during a storm as she approached Cape Horn and steered around mines during World War I. Sailing through and around all this danger while whaling on the far sides of the globe, it’s an irony that the Charles W. Morgan faced her greatest peril three years after she retired and while  lying alongside a wharf just across the Acushnet River from New Bedford, the town she called home port.

While She's Here

Newly seaworthy after a restoration project that spanned seven years, the 19th century whaleship Charles W. Morgan has already graced the ports of Mystic and New London, Conn., and Newport, R.I. Now she’s prepared to welcome visitors in droves throughout the four-day docking at the Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven.

The welcoming ceremony is at noon on Saturday.

Fish in His Blood: Morgan's Edgartown Roots Still Strong in S. Bailey Norton

At 93, S. Bailey Norton is the oldest living descendant of the first captain of the Charles W. Morgan. Fishing, he says, was what his family knew.

Strong Ties: Circle of Life Revolves Around Last Great Whaleship

Matthew Stackpole of West Tisbury grew up on the grounds of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Today he is the 67-year-old ship historian for the Chas. W. Morgan who speaks of his lucky life.

Whaleship Charles W. Morgan Sails for the Vineyard

For the first time in much more than a century, a whaleship is bound for Martha's Vineyard. The whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining whaleship in the world, left Newport, R.I. at about 8 a.m. Wednesday morning and is en route to the Vineyard. She is expected to arrive at Tisbury Wharf sometime in the afternoon. She will be visible from the north shore of the Island as she makes her way to the harbor.