Charles W. Morgan 38th Voyage
New Bedford to Buzzards Bay / July 7-8 2014

Photographs by Ger Tysk :)

photography Charles W. Morgan Mystic Seaport New Bedford cape cod Buzzards Bay tall ship sailing whaling whaleship moby-dick

Charles W. Morgan Martha's Vineyard 38th voyage whaling Mystic Seaport tall ship 2014

June 7, 1214: Sea Trials off New London, Connecticut.

The Charles W. Morgan, last wooden whaling ship in the world, sails under her own power for the first time since 1922.

Photos from Mystic Seaport Twitter and Facebook.

Charles W. Morgan Mystic Seaport New London 38th voyage tall ship sailing sail training New Bedford

The Sea-God at Sunrise sequel

I’m wrapping up the rough draft for the sequel to my first novel, so I figured it was time to redo my website and get a little blurb about the sequel up! I haven’t figured out a title yet, but here’s the story in a nutshell:

Set eight years after the first novel, during the early days of the California Gold Rush, we return with Ellis, Takao, and Shima to Hawaii.

In 1849, Honolulu town, newly named the kingdom’s capital, is still caught halfway between worlds: a formerly sleepy backwater newly turned international port by whalers and merchant ships from the West, home of native Hawaiians and American businessmen who exist uneasily side-by-side in a tug-of-war for political power, a war that the Hawaiians fear that they’re losing. Huts are still thatched with grass, Waikiki is a swamp, and none of the roads are paved, but Honolulu is where men go to seek their fortunes - that is, until a year ago, when they found gold in the West.

Amid this heady mix of old and new, Ellis, now the captain of his own whaling ship, and Takao, his boatsteerer, sail into Honolulu for a brief stopover before heading out to the Japan whaling grounds. When things don’t go as planned, they’ll need to turn to someone for help. Who better than Shima, now living just outside Honolulu, working as a physician and well connected within the Hawaiian elite? But Shima has changed, too, and after eight years apart, Ellis and Takao may find that the biggest battles they’ll face are not at sea against monsters of the deep, but in the harbors and valleys of Oahu against friend and brother.

I hope that perks some people’s ears and makes some of you excited! I love Hawaii (who doesn’t) and think that the history of the islands is some of the most fascinating in Polynesia. Getting to delve back into time to the 1850s has been exciting and sometimes a headache, as most Hawaii historical resources out there tend to deal with the period between 1870 and World War II. I’ve had to dig a little, but it’s been worth it.

For a historical context, the sequel is set just after the Great Mahele, a series of acts passed by King Kamehameha III in the late 1840s/early 1850s that privatized land and granted people the right to own land, which had not existed previously. The act was passed because the king feared Hawaiian land falling into foreign hands, and thus was trying to give native Hawaiians the chance to claim their ancestral lands. Unfortunately, the Great Mahele became a vehicle for foreigners to buy or lease land from the Hawaiian people, leading to native Hawaiians being pushed out from lands they had been living on for generations. As the novel explores how Hawaii affects the main characters, it also reveals the effects of these characters, all foreigners and sailors, on the island kingdom in return.

I’m hoping to be finished with drafting and rewriting by the end of the summer. Stay tuned for more tidbits from the story! You can also read my guest blog post, “Writing the Sequel”, here.

the sea-god at sunrise sequel fiction hawaii great mahele 1850 historical fiction whaling

I’m really excited to announce that I’ve been selected as one of the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyagers! Along with staff from Mystic Seaport and the ship’s main crew, we’ll be setting sail on the 38th voyage of the last wooden whaling ship in the world and gathering stories and info along the way to bring back for personal projects related to whaling, the Morgan, and the United States’ maritime past, present, and future.
Each voyager will be sailing on one specific “leg” of the voyage, as the Morgan will be anchoring at various ports up the New England coast. I’ll be on the New Bedford to Buzzards Bay leg in July! If you can make it to any of the cities that she’ll be visiting (New London, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford, Provincetown, Boston), I encourage you to come. The ship will be open for visitors, and there will also be exhibits dockside, events put on by the cities, and fun for the whole family!
This is a tremendous opportunity for me as well as a lifelong dream. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I moved to Boston because I read Moby-Dick and was so inspired that I ended up doing 4 years of research on whaling and writing a novel. Back then, Mystic Seaport’s official line was that the Morgan would never sail again, so I was pretty content to walk her decks and hang out around the tryworks and wonder what it was all like, especially for all the immigrants who were hired to work aboard whalers like the Morgan - men from the Azores and Cape Verde, South America, the South Pacific, and even Asia, like Manjiro. As an Asian-American, I feel a tremendous kinship with Manjiro and his experience and how he paved the way for other Asian immigrants and shaped the world.
Each of the voyagers will put together a project about their time on the Morgan, to be shared with the museum and the world this fall. My project centers around my novel and John Manjiro’s journey from Japan to America and back again. After the voyage I’ll be putting together a collection of photos to tell Manjiro’s story as well as reflect on the overall experience of immigrants aboard whaling ships in the 19th century.
Check out Mystic Seaport’s page on the Morgan - she’s almost ready to go and will set sail on May 17th for New London, CT :)

I’m really excited to announce that I’ve been selected as one of the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyagers! Along with staff from Mystic Seaport and the ship’s main crew, we’ll be setting sail on the 38th voyage of the last wooden whaling ship in the world and gathering stories and info along the way to bring back for personal projects related to whaling, the Morgan, and the United States’ maritime past, present, and future.

Each voyager will be sailing on one specific “leg” of the voyage, as the Morgan will be anchoring at various ports up the New England coast. I’ll be on the New Bedford to Buzzards Bay leg in July! If you can make it to any of the cities that she’ll be visiting (New London, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford, Provincetown, Boston), I encourage you to come. The ship will be open for visitors, and there will also be exhibits dockside, events put on by the cities, and fun for the whole family!

This is a tremendous opportunity for me as well as a lifelong dream. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I moved to Boston because I read Moby-Dick and was so inspired that I ended up doing 4 years of research on whaling and writing a novel. Back then, Mystic Seaport’s official line was that the Morgan would never sail again, so I was pretty content to walk her decks and hang out around the tryworks and wonder what it was all like, especially for all the immigrants who were hired to work aboard whalers like the Morgan - men from the Azores and Cape Verde, South America, the South Pacific, and even Asia, like Manjiro. As an Asian-American, I feel a tremendous kinship with Manjiro and his experience and how he paved the way for other Asian immigrants and shaped the world.

Each of the voyagers will put together a project about their time on the Morgan, to be shared with the museum and the world this fall. My project centers around my novel and John Manjiro’s journey from Japan to America and back again. After the voyage I’ll be putting together a collection of photos to tell Manjiro’s story as well as reflect on the overall experience of immigrants aboard whaling ships in the 19th century.

Check out Mystic Seaport’s page on the Morgan - she’s almost ready to go and will set sail on May 17th for New London, CT :)

Charles W. Morgan Mystic Seaport 38th Voyage John Manjiro whaling New Bedford Buzzards Bay

My novel The Sea-God at Sunrise made it to the Quarter-Finals in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards!!! I honestly did not expect to get this far. o.O I’m so excited.

My novel The Sea-God at Sunrise made it to the Quarter-Finals in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards!!! I honestly did not expect to get this far. o.O I’m so excited.

novel amazon

sail-into-the-unknown:

Now she is a fine vessel, how I would like to sail the seas on her!

sail-into-the-unknown:

Now she is a fine vessel, how I would like to sail the seas on her!

(via gonesailingtoo)


avanti011:


spiffingsailor:



amiablydebauchedsloth:




captainsaku:




boatporn:






capngrimbeard:






Not all Frigates have t’ have a mess o’ gundecks






Yah okay this is a whaleship, not a frigate at all.






Sorry to pop your bubble bro, but frigate is a term that refers to the disposition of the sails and masts (ie rigging). So technically, since the ship has a main, a mizzen and a foremast with square sails, referring to it as a frigate is in fact correct.




shit age of sail drama




A ship that has three masts and squares on each is a full-rigged ship. A frigate is a class of warship. Frigates could be full-rigged ships, but so could many other types of ships.
The ship in the picture is a whaler as well as a full-rigged ship.



Just for the record (from someone who has worked in the traditional maritime industry) this is absolutely a whale ship. The people commenting on the rigging are not necessarily incorrect, but this particular ship was a whaler. Also, check Google people! There is a long standing history of the NIGER as a whaling ship. Not everything has to do with rigging. Happy to see a discussion about traditional sail though!


Haha, this is indeed the Whaleship Niger of New Bedford. It seems my original commentary on this photo was deleted. For future reference:
"Gorgeous photo of the whaleship Niger of New Bedford, built in 1844. You can clearly see her fake gunports from the port (larboard) side. Most whaleships had these painted on with black and white paint to discourage pirates - the thinking was that the pirates would mistake the ships for naval vessels. Of course, once the pirates got close enough to see the whaleboats hanging from the davits, it would be clear that this was no armed frigate.

Scan from Albert Cook Church’s Whale Ships and Whaling.”
There are several signs that a ship is a whaleship. 1: a really bluff (square-shaped) bow and 2. multiple boats hanging from heavy-duty davit arms from both sides of the ship. Whaleships were the oil tankers of their day; they were not built for beauty or speed, but for hauling oil.

avanti011:

spiffingsailor:

amiablydebauchedsloth:

captainsaku:

boatporn:

capngrimbeard:


Not all Frigates have t’ have a mess o’ gundecks

Yah okay this is a whaleship, not a frigate at all.

Sorry to pop your bubble bro, but frigate is a term that refers to the disposition of the sails and masts (ie rigging). So technically, since the ship has a main, a mizzen and a foremast with square sails, referring to it as a frigate is in fact correct.

shit age of sail drama

A ship that has three masts and squares on each is a full-rigged ship. A frigate is a class of warship. Frigates could be full-rigged ships, but so could many other types of ships.

The ship in the picture is a whaler as well as a full-rigged ship.

Just for the record (from someone who has worked in the traditional maritime industry) this is absolutely a whale ship. The people commenting on the rigging are not necessarily incorrect, but this particular ship was a whaler. Also, check Google people! There is a long standing history of the NIGER as a whaling ship. Not everything has to do with rigging. Happy to see a discussion about traditional sail though!

Haha, this is indeed the Whaleship Niger of New Bedford. It seems my original commentary on this photo was deleted. For future reference:

"Gorgeous photo of the whaleship Niger of New Bedford, built in 1844. You can clearly see her fake gunports from the port (larboard) side. Most whaleships had these painted on with black and white paint to discourage pirates - the thinking was that the pirates would mistake the ships for naval vessels. Of course, once the pirates got close enough to see the whaleboats hanging from the davits, it would be clear that this was no armed frigate.

Scan from Albert Cook Church’s Whale Ships and Whaling.”

There are several signs that a ship is a whaleship. 1: a really bluff (square-shaped) bow and 2. multiple boats hanging from heavy-duty davit arms from both sides of the ship. Whaleships were the oil tankers of their day; they were not built for beauty or speed, but for hauling oil.

whaleship New Bedford whaling sailing

themindscanvas:

trem-das-cores:

America’s Cup

Oh. My.  Lovely.  Snap.

themindscanvas:

trem-das-cores:

America’s Cup

Oh. My.  Lovely.  Snap.

(via gonesailingtoo)


Highlights, part 1, from the 17th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Massachusetts. I live tweeted the whole 25 hours with photos taken on instagram, as I didn’t bring my camera with me. I couldn’t have done this before this year, as I only got a smartphone in March of 2012, so MDM17 was an interesting intersection of 21st century technology and mid 1800s vocabulary that managed to trip up even the most limber-tongued of readers (don’t think I heard anyone who didn’t stumble at least once XD)

The reading started at 12 noon with retired Rep Barney Frank reading as Ishmael. We crossed the street to the historic Seamen’s Bethel for chapters 7-9 to hear Father Mapple read his famous sermon from the bow-shaped pulpit (which didn’t exist until they decided to film one of the Moby-Dick movies in New Bedford and decided to build one).

Back to the museum, I relaxed with some snacks while listening to chapters 10-24 from the floor of the Jacobs Family Gallery. A canvas backdrop with Richard Ellis’s painting of from the upstairs Bourne Building had been set up behind the reading podiums. We got to hear someone read aloud from the Braille version of Moby-Dick, which was awesome. Of course my trusty plush whale was there for the ride. You’ll see him featured in my photos throughout the weekend :P

To be continued because Tumblr doesn’t let me post more than 10 images at a time.

moby-dick moby-dick marathon mdm17 new bedford whaling museum herman melville photography instagram