View of New Bedford from Fairhaven, 1853



from an engraving by W. Wellstood. 

Imagine the Charles W. Morgan
sails down the harbor toward Buzzard’s
Bay, the start of her fourth voyage.
The captain’s son serves as cabin boy;
he stands on deck at the bow, notes
how September opens with rough winds,
views the small fishing boat tossed
among crests. Next to him, his father,
eager for open water and a hold full
of ‘bone, hopeful the whales they sight
will be the right ones.


About the Author

Joanie DiMartino has work published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Modern Haiku, Alimentum, Calyx, and Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women. She is a past winner of the Betty Gabehart Award in Poetry from the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. DiMartino is the author of two collections of poetry, Licking the Spoon and Strange Girls, and is completing her third manuscript, Wood to Skin, about the nineteenth-century whaling industry; prior to writing the manuscript, she was a 38th Voyager on the Charles W. Morgan. An historian, DiMartino has spent over twenty years in the museum field and currently serves as the executive director of the Smith-Harris House in East Lyme, CT.

Click to enlarge. “[New Bedford from Fairhaven, 1853].” From Whale Ships and Whaling: A Pictorial History.
Joanie DiMartino