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Restored whaling ship prepares to set sail

  • Woodcarver Gary Anderson put the finishing touches on the new stern eagle on the transom of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass., in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)

    Woodcarver Gary Anderson put the finishing touches on the new stern eagle on the transom of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass., in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)

  • Lead shipwright Rob Whalen, top center, woodcarver Gary Anderson, left, and shipwright Dean Seder, right, install the new stern eagle on the transom of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)

    Lead shipwright Rob Whalen, top center, woodcarver Gary Anderson, left, and shipwright Dean Seder, right, install the new stern eagle on the transom of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)

  • Lead Rigger Matt Otto, left, and shipwright Ryan Stokes secure the port side anchor to the cathead of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass., in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)

    Lead Rigger Matt Otto, left, and shipwright Ryan Stokes secure the port side anchor to the cathead of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass., in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)

  • Family members take photos from the boat launch under the Gold Star Bridge in Groton, Conn., as the USS San Juan (SSN 751) passes on the Thames River en route to the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton returning from a 7-month deployment Friday, May 16, 2014. San Juan's crew of 140 officers and enlisted visiting ports in Bahrain, UAE, Portugal and Spain while deployed to European and Middle East commands.   (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)  MANDATORY CREDIT

    Family members take photos from the boat launch under the Gold Star Bridge in Groton, Conn., as the USS San Juan (SSN 751) passes on the Thames River en route to the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton returning from a 7-month deployment Friday, May 16, 2014. San Juan's crew of 140 officers and enlisted visiting ports in Bahrain, UAE, Portugal and Spain while deployed to European and Middle East commands. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Woodcarver Gary Anderson put the finishing touches on the new stern eagle on the transom of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass., in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)
  • Lead shipwright Rob Whalen, top center, woodcarver Gary Anderson, left, and shipwright Dean Seder, right, install the new stern eagle on the transom of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)
  • Lead Rigger Matt Otto, left, and shipwright Ryan Stokes secure the port side anchor to the cathead of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport's H.B. duPont Preservation Shipyard on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Stonington, Conn. The new eagle replaces one that has been on the ship's transom since its display in Fairhaven, Mass., in the 1920's and is a more true replica of the eagle that hung there during the ship's sailing years. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)
  • Family members take photos from the boat launch under the Gold Star Bridge in Groton, Conn., as the USS San Juan (SSN 751) passes on the Thames River en route to the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton returning from a 7-month deployment Friday, May 16, 2014. San Juan's crew of 140 officers and enlisted visiting ports in Bahrain, UAE, Portugal and Spain while deployed to European and Middle East commands.   (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)  MANDATORY CREDIT

MYSTIC, Conn. — The Charles W. Morgan, the last surviving ship from America’s 19th -century whaling fleet, was undergoing final preparations Friday for its first voyage in almost a century.

The 173-year-old ship is scheduled to be pushed by a tug boat down the Mystic River and into the Thames River in New London on Saturday morning.

Plans call for it to stay there for a month. It will get its ballast, complete its rigging and go on training cruises in Fishers Island Sound before setting sail on June 14 on a tour of historic New England ports.

This will be the ship’s 38th voyage and first since 1921. It follows a six-year, $10.6 million restoration at Mystic Seaport.

“Ships are made to go to sea, and by taking her out and actually sailing her again, we are helping the Morgan fulfill her mission and do what she was made to do,” Seaport President Stephen White told The Day of New London.

The 113-foot vessel was originally launched in July 1841 in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

It plans stops there and in Newport, Rhode Island; Martha’s Vineyard; Provincetown, Massachusetts; and Boston this summer before heading back to Mystic.

The ship still has about 18 percent of its original wood, including the keel first laid in New Bedford.

But it also has been outfitted with some modern conveniences, such as pumps, generators, lighting and a fire suppression system. It is not being equipped with a motor, and a tug will accompany it throughout its journey to help when it is not under sail.

Those modern systems will be removed when the Morgan returns to Mystic in August.

There are no future voyages scheduled and plans call for the ship to return to the Mystic Seaport museum as a floating exhibit. The Morgan is a National Historic Landmark and has been a major attraction at the museum since it was towed there in 1941.

Rain was forecast for Saturday. Museum officials said that would not affect the Morgan’s trip to New London, but any high waves or winds could force postponement of the move until Sunday.

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