The Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship

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We went to see this on Martha’s Vineyard in July-very interesting story. If you live in New England,check her schedule!

The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat – only the USS Constitution is older.

Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages between 1841 and 1921, most lasting three years or more. Built for durability, not speed, she roamed every corner of the globe in her pursuit of whales. She is known as a “lucky ship,” having successfully navigated crushing Arctic ice, hostile natives, countless storms, Cape Horn roundings and, after she finished her whaling career, even the Hurricane of 1938.

 

The Morgan was launched on July 21, 1841 from the yard of Jethro and Zachariah Hillman in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She typically sailed with a crew of about 35, representing sailors from around the world. The whaleship measures 113 feet, with a 27-foot 6-inch beam and depth of hold of 17 feet 6 inches. Her main truck is 110 feet above the deck; fully-rigged, and she is capable of carrying approximately 13,000 square feet of sail. The huge try-pots used for converting blubber into whale oil are forward; below are the cramped quarters in which her officers and men lived.

After her whaling days ended in 1921, the Morgan was preserved by Whaling Enshrined, Inc. and exhibited at Colonel Edward H.R. Green’s estate at Round Hill in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, until 1941. In November of that year, the Morgan came to Mystic Seaport where she has since dominated the waterfront at Chubb’s Wharf.

The whaleship was designated a National Historic Landmark by order of the Secretary of the Interior in 1966, and she is also a recipient of the coveted World Ship Trust Award. Since her arrival at Mystic Seaport more than 20 million visitors have walked her decks. Where once she hunted and processed whales for profit, her purpose now is to tell an important part of our nation’s history and the lessons that history has for current generations.

 Restoration and Preservation

 

At Mystic Seaport the Charles W. Morgan has been given a new lease on life; however, her future vitality depends on continual preservation. A major program of restoration and preservation was begun in 1968 to repair her structurally, and during the course of this work, it was decided to restore her to the rig of a double-topsail bark, which she carried from 1867 through the end of her whaling career. She appears as she was during most of her active career.

In January 1974, after removal from her former sand and mud berth, she was hauled out on the lift dock in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard for inspection and hull work as needed. Her hull proved to be in remarkably good condition, with only a new false keel, shoe and some planking being required.

The 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan on the Museum's shiplift awaiting her launch. July 21, 2013In November, 2008 the Morgan returned to the Museum’s shipyard for restoration. The project renewed areas of the vessel from the waterline down to her keel and also addressed the bow and stern. The whaleship was re-launched July 21, 2013 and left Mystic Seaport May 17, 2014 to embark on her 38th Voyage to historic ports of New England. The nearly three-month long journey seeks to engage communities with their maritime heritage and raise awareness about the changing perception about whales and whaling. Where once the Morgan’s cargo was whale oil and baleen, today her cargo is knowledge.

When the vessel returns to Mystic Seaport in August 2014, she will resume her role as an exhibit and the flagship of the Museum.

Use Yah Blinkah!

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What I  love about Boston is that as a rule, people really have a great sense of humor.

In a bid to get notoriously aggressive Boston drivers to use their turn signals, Massachusetts officials tried to put the message into terms that only they would understand.

Electronic highway signs around the city now say, “Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah.”

“Blinkah” is how Bostonians pronounce “blinker,” otherwise known as a turn signal.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation changed the message Friday and say the signs will stay up through Mother’s Day on Sunday, which officials say is one of the busiest traffic days of the year.

The message reportedly was prompted by a complaint from a resident who requested officials find a way to discourage sporadic lane changes, The Boston Globe reported.

A MassDOT spokeswoman told The Globe the agency saw the request and in addressing it, decided to have a little fun.

Drivers who fail to use their “blinkah” when changing lanes on a Massachusetts highway are subject to a fine. Police across the state handed out almost 5,000 tickets for the offense last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Fluffernutters in Massachusetts

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This was always a staple in our diet when we came to Cape Cod in the summers from Washington DC so it brings back fond memories. I just always told my kids that there was no Fluff in DC when we returned home!

BOSTON, April 24 (UPI) — Fans of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff may want to start looking for housing options in Massachusetts.

A bill that would make the fluffernutter the official state sandwich in Massachusetts was approved at a vote earlier this week during a session of the House of Representatives. According to the bill, “the fluffernutter shall be the sandwich or sandwich emblem of the commonwealth.”

Marshmallow Fluff was invented almost a hundred years ago in Somerville, Mass., and the sandwich — a combination of peanut butter and fluff on bread — is a popular snack in New England.

The main ingredient in the fluffernutter, the fluff, is still produced at a manufacturing plant in Lynn.

The House has to vote on the bill again before it can move on to the Senate.

Not everyone hopes it passes.

“Why the state Legislature feels the need to designate a sandwich is itself questionable. There’s plenty of other pressing business,” said a MassLive editorial. “And if it does, why not choose a sandwich that says Bay State with every bite: Why not choose the mayonnaise-less lobster roll?”

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Baby Showers!

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We had a shower last weekend for a dear friend’s daughter-she is due in one month. I was interested to see that Burt’s Bees is now doing baby stuff-clothing and products that were very cute and clever! I started wondering about all the different traditions around the world for baby showers and this is what I found on Wikepedia:

Baby showers and other social events to celebrate the impending or recent birth are popular around the world. They are commonly “women-only” social gatherings.

  • In Canada, it’s traditionally known that only women may attend this event.
  • In Brazil, a party called “chá de bebê” (baby tea) is offered before birth and is often a “women-only” event.
  • In Chinese tradition, a baby shower, called manyue (满月) is held one month after the baby is born. Due to the lack of advanced medical technology in ancient times, the high infant mortality rate prompted families and friends to celebrate if a baby survived more than one month after birth.
  • In Armenia, a baby shower is called “qarasunq” (քառասունք) and is celebrated 40 days after baby’s birth. It is a mixed party for all relatives and friends. Guests usually bring gifts for the baby or parents.
  • In Iran, a baby shower is called sismoony party which in the family of pregnant woman 1-3 months before delivery will provide her virtually all accommodation and accessories her first baby needed. This includes but not limited to bed, toys, clothes, dishes and almost every things related to the baby. All family and close friends would be invited to see the gifted items and also themselves will bring a gift.
  • In Costa Rica, a baby shower party is called té de canastilla (“basket tea”).
  • In Hindu tradition, they are called by different names depending on the community the family belongs to.
  • In northern India it is known as godbharaai, in western India, especially Maharasta, this celebration is known as dohaaljewan, and in West Bengal and Odisha it is called saadh.
  • In Southern India, in Tamil Nadu/Andhra Pradesh it is called Seemantham or Valaikaapu (The expecting mother wears bangles) and in Karnataka it is calledshreemanta and is held when the woman is in her 5th or 7th or 9th months of pregnancy. Although Seemantham and Valaikappu might be celebrated together, they are very different. Seemantham is a religious ceremony while Valaikappu is a purely social event much like Western baby showers. In a Valaikappu, there is music played, and the expecting mother is decked in traditional attire with lots of flowers and garlands made of jasmine or mogra. A swing is decorated with flowers of her choice, which she uses to sit and swing. At times there are symbolic cut-outs of Moons and Stars that are put up. There are blessings showered on her by the elderly ladies from the household and community. There are gifts given to the expecting mother. It is a very affectionate and fun-filled event for most of the expecting mothers since they are on the threshold of motherhood and entering a new life.
  • In Kerala, it is known as ‘Pulakuli’, and is practiced predominantly in the Nair community, though it’s popularity has spread to other Hindu sects as well over the years. On an auspicious day, after being massaged with homemade ayurvedic oil, the woman has a customary bath with the help of the elderly women in the family. After this, the family deity is worshipped, invoking all the paradevatas (family deities) and a concoction of herbal medicines prepared in the traditional way, is given to the woman. The woman is dressed in new clothes and jewellery used for such occasions. A big difference in the western concept of baby shower and Hindu tradition is that the Hindu ceremony is a religious ceremony to pray for the well-being of the baby. In most conservative families gifts are bought for the mother-to-be but not the baby. The baby is showered with gifts only after birth.
  • In Islam adherents are required to perform aqiqah of newly born child. This involves the sacrifice of animals. The meat is then divided in three equal parts; one for the poor and needy, one for relatives and friends which can involve inviting them at home for a feast, and finally the last part is utilized by the household itself.
  • In South Africa, a baby shower is called a stork party, and takes place typically when the mother is about 6 months pregnant. Stork parties are usually not attended by men, and South African men do not have an equivalent party of their own. The stork party is accompanied by silliness such as dressing up, and babycare related gifts are given to the mother. A stork party is often organised as a surprise without the mother’s knowledge.
  • In the United Kingdom, this is called wetting the baby’s head, and is a more common substitute to a baby shower, which is seen as a materialistic American custom.Wetting the baby’s head is traditionally when the father celebrates the birth by having a few drinks with a group of friends.
  • In Nepal baby shower is called Pasni, It is often done to the boys in 6 month of their birth and it is done to the girls in 5 months of their birth. People give money and other gifts during the baby shower.

Menauhant & More House Tour Preview Salon

This is a presentation I gave on Thursday, July 18 at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA. I spoke about the renovation and additions we did to our summer home on the Cape.

Lauren Huyett Highfield Hall Salon sitetx. Click on the blue highlighted words here. Please note it will take a few minutes to download the PowerPoint document to your computer.

Menauhant & More House Tour

The History of Golf

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I am having so much fun learning how to play golf. I started taking lessons last year with a good friend and we have been really “at it” this summer as well. We are constantly amazed at all of the rules, etiquette and in general how to hit the ball where you want it to go!

I wanted to know some of the history and this is what I found:

The modern game of golf is generally considered to be a Scottish invention. A spokesman for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, one of the oldest Scottish golf organisations, said “Stick and ball games have been around for many centuries, but golf as we know it today, played over 18 holes, clearly originated in Scotland.”The word golf, or in Scots gouf, is usually thought to be a Scots alteration of  Dutch”colf” or “colve” meaning “stick, “club“, “bat“, itself related to  *kulth- as found in Old Norse kolfr meaning “bell clapper”, and the German Kolben meaning “mace or club”.The Dutch term Kolven refers to a related sport.

The first documented mention of golf in Scotland appears in a 1457 Act of the Scottish Parliament, an edict issued by King James II of Scotland prohibiting the playing of the games of gowf and football as these were a distraction from archery practice for military purposes. Bans were again imposed in Acts of 1471 and 1491, with golf being described as “an unprofitable sport”. Mary,Queen of Scots was accused by her political enemies of playing golf after her second husband was murdered in 1567. It has been written that she had been playing “sports that were clearly unsuitable to women”. Golf was banned again by Parliament under King James IV of Scotland, but golf clubs and balls were bought for him in 1502 when he was visiting Perth, and on subsequent occasions when he was in St Andrews and Edinburgh.

The account book of  a lawyer  records that he played golf at Musselburgh Links on 2 March 1672, and this has been accepted as proving that The Old Links, Musselburgh, is the oldest playing golf course in the world. There is also a story that Mary, Queen of Scots, played there in 1567.

In April 2005, new evidence re-invigorated the debate concerning the origins of golf. Evidence unearthed by Prof. Ling Hongling of Lanzhou University suggests that a game similar to modern-day golf was played in China since Southern Dang Dynasty, 500 years before golf was first mentioned in Scotland.In this source, Dōngxuān Records  from the Song Dynasty (960–1279) describe a game called chuíwán and also includes drawings of the game. It was played with 10 clubs including a cuanbangpubang, and shaobang, which are comparable to a driver, two-wood, and three-wood. Clubs were inlaid with jade and gold, suggesting chuíwán was for the wealthy. Chinese archive includes references to a Southern Tang official who asked his daughter to dig holes as a target.Ling suggested chuíwán was exported to Europe and then Scotland by Mongolian travellers in the late Middle Ages.

– excerpts from Wikipedia

Trivia Night

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If you are looking for a great party idea, this is it. We had a Trivia Night at our Yacht Club the other night.Spearheaded by a very clever person here, there was a committee of 12 people that came up with questions ranging from “Every breed of dog except one has a pink tongue.What breed is it?” (chow) to many geographical questions which had most people stumped.We also asked questions such as “what part of the blue crab is colored blue?”(the claws) “What fitness guru appeared as a meatball in a TV commercial?”(Richard Simmons)
Each of the 12 teams of 8 people had a white board. They chose one secretary for each table. The question would be asked and they had 30 seconds to confer and to answer-holding up their respective white boards. For each correct answer they received two points. At the end of the evening,we had a bonus round which took names of families in our community and had the reverse name..for instance the word “emptier” meant FULLER…”tactful”….BLUNT and so on.
The prize at the end of the evening was a really creative owl(for wisdom,of course) that the organizer found and made a stand for.The thought is that every other year we will hold a Trivia Night and the winning team will have their names on the trophy for all to see in years to come.We also made five baskets filled with fun games,candies,chips and drinks and raffled those off at the end of the evening.