Sunday, 9 November 2014

From London to New London

From London, England and standing in front of New Zealand House petitioning for the smallest and one of the rarest dolphins in the world, Morgan was back in the USA. This time she was exploring the history of New London, Connecticut. During the height of the whaling era in the early 19th Century, New London was one of the busiest whaling ports. Oil from whales was exploited but essential to much of the industrial development of the area, with the wealth invested in railroads and hospitals. In the 21st century there is now a recognition for the need to save whales and preserve our ocean environment in a sustainable way. While there are still some countries that hunt whales, thankfully in many countries it is now simply a part of their history. 

Morgan and the history of whaling in New London

A prominent landmark in New London is Wyland’s Whale Wall. Wyland, an American artist best known for his Whaling Walls; large murals painted on buildings across America, featuring life-sized whales.  In New London there was only really one species that could be painted, the whale most hunted by Connecticut whalers in the 1800s, the Sperm Whale. It was Dr Robbins Barstow, one of the founders of WCA partner Cetacean Society International (CSI) and who dedicated his life to saving whales, leading the charge in the effort to stop the slaughter of whales, who invited Wyland to paint the wall in New London. In July 1993 and within one week Wyland had created his Sperm Whale masterpiece. 

Morgan at Wyland's Whale Wall in New London

Over the years the painting began to deteriorate and in 2006 there was even talk of painting over the wall. It was the residents of the city who united with CSI to protect and restore the wall, so that it remains as an icon of awareness and inspiration to these incredible underwater creatures. For Morgan is was a chance to wonder through the history of this place with current members of CSI Patricia Sullivan and Paul Di Gangi. 

Read more about Dr Barstow in CSI’s Whales Alive newsletter written by one of our Morgan’s best friends, Patricia Sullivan. Find out more about the work of CSI at their website

Check out Follow Free Morgan's Facebook page for more photos of her adventure around New London, and while you are there why not Like and Follow us!

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