June 26, 2014
NEW BEDFORD — Carlos Ramos, an 88-year-old Navy veteran of World War II, had been waiting for Wednesday's arrival of the Charles W. Morgan since he learned last year the ship's 38th voyage would include a stop in the Whaling City.
His uncle, Theophilus Manuel Freitas, was the first mate on the ship's 35th voyage from July 16, 1918, to Sept. 7, 1919, according to Carl Cruz, a member of the New Bedford Historical Society.
Another uncle, Benjamin Manuel Freitas, was the boatheader on the 35th voyage and the second mate on the 36th voyage from Oct. 18, 1919, to July 16, 1920, Cruz said.
"I feel fantastic. The words of my mother came to mind when I saw the ship," Ramos said as he stared at the vessel preparing to dock at state pier. "She had five brothers and they all went to sea and she had eight sons and only one went to sea.
"It's Cape Verdean blood. Cape Verdean blood, proud of it," he said.
Ramos was one of the estimated 200 people who stood on the pier and watched as the majestic former whaling ship with its gleaming black hull and gold lettering entered the harbor.