A Forum for Discussions among Voyagers and Others related to the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2014 Aug 14, 15:30 -0700
One of the challenges for future voyages of the Charles W. Morgan is the restricted navigability of the Mystic River estuary. A narrow channel runs from Mystic Seaport, through the US-1 highway drawbridge and the northeast corridor rail bridge, and then snakes past Mason's Island and the peninsula of Noank before passing between tricky shoals and rocks leading out into Fishers Island Sound. The Morgan has to be rigged down and de-ballasted somewhat in order to make it through this obstacle course. And even so, she got stuck. I didn't see the delay on the outbound leg, which locals tell me lasted a little longer. Coming back upriver last week, the Morgan got stuck for about a minute at the "sticky spot" (see the attached map). That's not long, but this is a serious issue. In order to sail again, the Morgan will have to repeat the ballasting/de-ballasting process in New London before heading out on any sailing treks, and it needs a tow through all of this. Those who are interested in seeing the Morgan sail again may want to investigate the process of convincing the Corps of Engineers (or whoever is responsible --I don't know) to dredge the Mystic River channel deeper and wider. That would certainly simplify the process. Of course there are environmental concerns with any dredging. Is sailing the Morgan worth that cost? And if it means losing a few mooring sites in the anchorages along the channel, would local enthusiasm wane?
The attached map is a continuation of the voyage mapping that I described earlier. I collected the AIS data (GPS positiions broadcast by vessels and recorded by shore receivers) for the Morgan, the tug Sirius, and Roann. I combined these points for this very last leg of the voyage. You can see the tight squeeze up the channel to return the Morgan to Mystic Seaport.
Conanicut Island USA