Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) staff and volunteers have begun to build a whaleboat destined to go aboard Mystic Seaport’s newly restored whaleship Charles W. Morgan. On Sunday, July 21 at 1:30pm, LCMM will host a viewing of live streaming video from Mystic sharing the relaunch of America’s last wooden whaleship.
They will then invite visitors into LCMM’s boat shop to see the first steps in construction of the whaleboat, and measure themselves against a whale jawbone, ribs and vertebrae on loan from New Bedford Whaling Museum.
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has been chosen to build one of ten new whaleboats for Mystic Seaport’s whaleship Charles W. Morgan. LCMM’s Champlain Longboats youth boatbuilding program will build the whaleboat in 2013-14, and it will be on board in May 2014 when Morgan embarks on a voyage to several historic New England whaling ports.
Many New England fortunes were built on the whaling trade. Stories of people risking their lives on the high seas to hunt whales are vivid and exciting. Yet this relentless killing led to the near-extinction of several species with unanticipated long-term environmental consequences. While they are building the whaleboat, a special exhibit at LCMM is expected to connect the Champlain Valley to this dramatic chapter in America’s maritime past. The exhibit also takes a look at recent efforts to redefine the relationship between people and whales, and to help ensure the survival of the world’s marine mammals.
The Museum will offer special opportunities to visit the Boat Shop to see the work in progress, and you can follow the progress of the Whaleboat project on LCMM’s Facebook page.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is open daily, 10-5, through October 13, 2013. Located at 4472 Basin Harbor Road, seven miles west of Vergennes, is a world-class nautical archaeological research center with 14 exhibit buildings and a fleet of full-sized and operational replica vessels. The museum’s team of nautical archaeologists has explored the lake’s 300+ historic shipwrecks, transforming their discoveries into hands-on exhibits, films, and programs.
More information about new exhibits, special events, and on-water programs, and the itinerary for schooner Lois McClure can be found on the Maritime Museum website www.lcmm.org.
Photo: The Charles W. Morgan, provided by Mystic Seaport.