The chronicle of two novices building their first boat, complete with additional slice of life content. This is interesting - I saw it through a Google alert for "Mystic Seaport" - I live in Mystic and work at Mystic Seaport - hope you have a good rest of your trip! The new space is larger than the old building and offers the opportunity to expand the exhibit to provide additional context about the American merchant trade that the Benjamin F.
The original 244-foot square-rigged sailing ship, more than twice the length of the Charles W. In 1908 she was purchased by the Northwest Fisheries Company of Seattle and was employed by them (1908-18), and later by the Booth Fisheries Company of Port Townsend, WA (1918-25), as a “salmon packer,” carrying fisheries workers and equipment from Puget Sound up to the Alaskan fish canneries in the spring and returning in the fall with the workers and the fish.
Subsequent efforts to preserve her as a museum having failed, she came to rest as an amusement park attraction in Rye, New York, where she was irreparably damaged in the hurricane of 1938. During the warmer months the Museum’s Special Demonstration Squad rows a whaleboat to Middle Wharf to describe how whaleboats were used and demonstrate how maneuverable they are.
Though I graduated from Trinity College in 1982 with a degree in philosophy, two exchange programs have directly shaped my current work.
The author built this replica sail ferry on Lake Champlain for the State of New York in 2001-2002. During those same years I kept in touch with my friend Nobu as he returned to work in Japan. One of the best places to get acquainted with this seaside community is the Mystic Seaport. Packard has been relocated to the Museum’s Stillman Building as part of the configuration of the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle. Morgan and last survivor of her type, was built in 1883 at the shipyard of Goss, Sawyer & Packard in Bath, Maine, and named for one of the builders. After the degradation of one last “voyage” from Puget Sound to New York as a lumber barge in tow through the Panama Canal, she was retired in 1927. Before the Packard was scuttled, some of the aftercabin paneling and interior furnishings were removed and brought to Mystic Seaport, where they were stored until the reconstruction was begun almost 40 years later. The excellence of the various woods, the fine veneers and graceful carving, and the elaborate decorations testify to the overall magnificence of the ship. The building, patterned after buildings on several of New Bedford’s whaling wharves, was constructed in 1982. You can see that this light, strong, double-ended boat was packed with gear for hunting the whale.

As a sophomore I attended Williams-Mystic in the Spring of 1980, and as a junior I attended the University of Oregon. I say "taste" because, although we were to help Will Ansel build a replica boat for the Museum's collection, I think collectively we may have been more of a hindrance. We had become close friends, although Nobu retained an ability to say and do the unexpected.
Down the road, an ancient stone fence curls its way through a 19th century whaling village.
This simulated 19th century whaling village details the bravery of our ancestors and the tenacity of the New England people in building a proud nation. The exhibit, which was formerly located in a building adjacent to the North Boat Shed, is now displayed in the newly renovated 2nd floor of the building. She was typical of the superbly designed, finely crafted “Down Easters” or “Cape Horners” of the late 19th century built to carry cargoes around Cape Horn between America’s Atlantic and Pacific ports. At Mystic I was one of three students chosen, solely because we possessed some rudimentary carpentry skills, to work with Willits Ansel in Mystic Seaport's duPont Preservation Shipyard.
I still remember with some residual shame having cut the stem wrong at least twice in building our little Noank lobster skiff. A town of proud people eager to share their storied history, Mystic, Connecticut welcomes guests with open arms and a generous dose of New England hospitality. Mystic Seaport is a working shipyard, preserving boats and ships including the newly built Amistad.
The “Down Easters” replaced the clipper ships as the economic demands called for less speed and more cargo-carrying capacity.
At the University of Oregon I was assigned to a dormitory of incoming transfer students and there met my roommate Nobu Hayashi, newly arrived from the University of Hawaii.
I had more success holding plank ends helping Ansel repair the Block Island cowhorn and I managed to shape a whaleboat steering oar by myself. For another lesson in the hard life of a seaman, tour the Charles Morgan, the largest and last-built 19th century wooden whaling ship in the world. During most of her 20-odd years in the Cape Horn trade she was owned by Arthur Sewall & Co. It would take more than ten years, but my experiences at Williams-Mystic and a friendship forged in Oregon would intersect in profound ways.Doulas Brooks and his first teacher, the late Koichi Fujii, the last builder of tub boats on Sado Island, 1995.
Having heard that I had left my job at the maritime museum, he sent me a plane ticket to Japan.

Crawl into the belly of this ancient vessel and witness the lower deck’s eerie sleeping quarters.
The boat contains the gear typically carried in American whaleboats of the 1880s, and whaling tools are displayed above the boat. The bowed hull formed by 200-year-old planks holds company with wood salvaged from oak trees devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Meet Kodiak, a 9-year-old 1,700 pound Steller sea lion, and watch him scale a rugged flight of stairs for a treat from his trainers. The officer used a long-shanked lance to pierce the whale’s lungs and cause it to bleed to death.
Or meet Naku, a six-year-old 1,800 pound Beluga whale who stole my heart, snuggling close to me, curling her tail and smiling for the camera. She’s quite chatty and animated, tossing her head and begging for that yummy tongue pat. For a closer look at Mystic’s wildlife, experience the beauty of Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, home to 175 different species of birds and countless animals and reptiles.
Just a mile and a half from downtown Mystic, the 300-acre nature preserve introduces visitors to southeastern Connecticut’s diverse ecosystems.
Salt and freshwater marshes, beaches, ponds, wildflower meadows, woodlands and rocky ledges offer an outdoor classroom for glacial history and wetland ecology. Engage your wild side and follow the call of the coyote on a full moon hike or paddle trip. Mystic offers birding, canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting along with family hiking and camping, nature photography and writing courses. As the seasons turn, I long to see her changing moods: the vibrant pastels in spring and summer, the blazing earth tones in fall and the blanket of white and evergreens in the winter.
From the loyal fan making his annual pilgrimage to the casual visitor at the scenic overlook, she casts her spell, inviting a new legion of faithful followers.

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