Last week, the Charles W. Morgan departed from Mystic Seaport with quite a bit of fanfare. Cheering crowds lined the river banks, and boats of all sizes escorted her as she was tugged and then towed to New London's City Pier. Though it was probably one of her shortest trips ever and didn't involve Arctic ice, rounding Cape Horn, or a boarding by hungry cannibals, the fifteen mile adventure was the first since 1941 for the only surviving whaling ship. She'll be open to the public during her stays in various New England ports this summer, so we can all step aboard.

Charles Morgan at Mystic Seaport

The Charles W. Morgan is the only surviving whaling ship and the second oldest vessel still in use. Photo: Mystic Seaport

But we'll have to wait until June 2 to catch a glimpse of the stowaway.

Ryan Leighton earned the berth of official stowaway for the 38th voyage by winning a video contest the Seaport held to find a "curious communicator." Although traditionally stowaways remained hidden until the ship was well out to sea, for fear of being dumped back ashore, Ryan will be taking part in the ship's daily routine—and blogging about it. His sense of adventure will serve him well, since this nineteenth century ship was built for durability, not for crew comfort. "Sometimes the most satisfying feeling is not knowing what tomorrow will bring," Ryan claims.

We wish him and the entire Morgan crew well as they embark on a summer of making history come alive.

Learn more about the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan