SCHOONER ERNESTINA, Ex. Effie M.Morrissey, was built in 1894 at the James and Tarr Shipyard for the Gloucester fishing fleet. Under Captain Bob Bartlett she sailed to within 600 miles of the North Pole, and later brought immigrants to the U.S. under the power of sail. Returned to the US in 1982 as a gift from the newly independent Cape Verdean people, she sailed as an educator until 2005.

Terrific Prizes for Raffle June 9!

Even if you can’t attend our celebration on June 9, you can have a chance to win these terrific prizes.  They will be raffled off on the evening of June 9 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  The tickets are $10.00 each or 3 for $20.00.  You can get tickets by online using the DONATE BUTTON and  ordering your tickets securely.  Just make a note in the”special instructions” box that your donation is for raffle tickets for June 9.

First prize

Framed Arthur Moniz print “Ernestina by Palmers Island” 33”x 26”

Artist Arthur Moniz has been painting the beauty of the historic maritime coastal communities for over 35 years. Visit his gallery at 22 William St. New Bedford.

Second Prize

Adirondack-type chair built by Karl Pastore, DCR representative on the Schooner Ernestina Commission.  The chair is made of wood from Ernestina-Morrissey’s foremast which carried her foresail from 1994-2014.

Third Prize

Public Sail for four on Schooner Ardelle and “The Shipwright and the Schooner” by Harold Burnham.  Sail Gloucester Harbor with Capt. Burnham and hear about the work progressing on Ernestina-Morrissey.

Fourth Prize

Arthur Moniz print “Ernestina Outward Bound” 28”x 15.5”

Artist Arthur Moniz has been painting the beauty of the historic maritime coastal communities for over 35 years.  Visit his gallery at 22 William St. New Bedford.

If you want to do more we have added a “Crew” sponsorship.  Your $100 sponsorship will recognize all the work of individuals whose efforts made it possible for us to Celebrate Ernestina-Morrissey on June 9.  AND your donation will be matched 1:1 by the Manton Foundation.  Just use the donate button. and enter Crew Sponsorship in the “special instructions” box.

Honoring the Past, Supporting the Future

The celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the return of Ernestina-Morrissey to

The Ernestina Committee consisting of Armando Perry, Cecelia Monte, Laura Pires-Hester, Eddie Andrade, Joe Monte, Luis Fernandes, and American Ambassador Melissa Wells meeting Cape Verdean Ambassador Amaro daLuz at the United Nations

Massachusetts (TICKETS HERE) will include recognition of five individuals who were part of the early efforts of repatriation and who continued to support the ship through the years.    Hundreds of people rallied to support Ernestina in the 1970’s. The effort to return Ernestina to the United States began in earnest after the Cape Verdeans won independence in 1975.  The Cape Verdean-American Ethnic Heritage Committee in Providence made the first proposals to the new government and was joined by the “Save the Morrissey” campaign.  In 1976, the Friends of Ernestina/Morrissey Committee lead by Laura Pires Houston was officially launched in New York. Chapters in the United States, particularly in southern New England, New York and Philadelphia, raised money and procured material and expertise for the Ernestina project.   The rest is history!

For more information check out the timeline or get a copy of Phoenix of the Seas.

Join us June 9, 2017 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum as we Celebrate Ernestina-Morrissey. Get your tickets TODAY! to celebrate the contributions of these five individuals:

Julius Britto was active in the National Friends of Ernestina/Morrissey as a charter member (Wareham/Cape Cod Chapter). He was appointed to the First Commission and served as chairman.  In 1982, he was chosen as executive director of Ernestina-Morrissey Historical Association.  He served on the Schooner Ernestina Commission Finance Committee in 2008 and is a charter member of Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc., currently serving as president.

Representative Thomas D. Lopes sponsored the legislation establishing the Schooner Ernestina Commission in 1978.  He was very active telling Ernestina’s story and engaging supporters through Cape Verdean News. Tom visited Cape Verde with CVN cable to record the work on Ernestina and her departure.  He later produced the film “Mystery Lady” from his Cape Verdean footage.  As the internet came into popular use he shared his videos on his video channel.  Tom was still documenting Ernestina in at the 2010 Forum and in December 2011 video-recording the masts being removed and producing YouTube videos on his channel.  He was a true advocate of Ernestina until his death.

Laura Pires-Hester, Ph D met Michael Platzer and became involved with the idea of repatriation in 1974.  She was founder and first chair of National Friends of Ernestina/Morrissey. She became president of Ernestina Morrissey Historical Association. Laura and Michael Platzer wrote a commemorative edition of a history “Ernestina—Effie M. Morrissey” in 1982 to celebrate the repatriation.  Appointed to the Schooner Ernestina Commission 2007, she organized celebration of 25th anniversary of repatriation and organized a Forum in 2010 to gather all Ernestina’ constituencies. Again, with Michael Platzer, she presented at the Sailor Series at Whaling Museum in 2011.  A Commissioner since 2007, she was elected Chair in 2010 and served until May 2017.

Michael K. H. Platzer was involved with the idea of repatriation before Cape Verdean independence who worked in the Office of Technical Assistance, United Nations, Cape Verde desk.  National Friends of Ernestina/Morrissey charter member.  Michael and the then Laura Pires-Houston wrote a commemorative edition of a history “Ernestina—Effie M. Morrissey” in 1982 to celebrate the repatriation Again, with Laura, he presented at the Sailor Series at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 2011.

Margaret D. Xifaras, as Senior Advisor was assigned by Governor Dukakis to work with the new Schooner Ernestina Commission. She worked with Julius, chair of the Commission, on plans to return Ernestina to New Bedford. Her liaison work invaluable as the Commission worked with the state government as well as the Cape Verdean government and Representative Gerry Studds in the US Congress.  Most recently she has helped SEMA and Commission, communicating with the Patrick administration.  She also has rounded up work crews to volunteer on Ernestina during “Lend a Hand” Day with the National Park.

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You’re Invited! Honoring the Past, Supporting the Future

Join us as we honor hard-working individuals who brought Ernestina back to the United States. They champion the ship to this day. You can celebrate their contributions and support the future of Ernestina-Morrissey.  Get your  TICKETS TODAY!

A portion of the $75 ticket price is a donation and is tax deductible to the extent of the law and and all proceeds will be matched 1:1 by the Manton Foundation.

Sponsorship opportunities LISTED HERE.

You can purchase tickets in person at the The White Whale at the Whaling Museum during regular hours.

Online Tickets are available at the The White Whale online shop on the Whaling Museum website .  Click the LINK and enter your number of tickets, click “Buy now”, click “View Cart”, click “Checkout” to pay with credit card or PayPal.

MORE INFORMATION

Thank you for supporting Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey!

Thank you, Laura!

We can’t say it better than Governor Baker!  Fair Winds, Laura!

Celebrate Ernestina-Morrissey!

Get your tickets today!

Please join us on June 9 as we begin a summer of celebrating the return of Ernestina, now Ernestina-Morrissey, to Massachusetts where she started her historic journey in 1894.  Thirty five years ago the newly independent Republic of Cabo Verde made this AMAZING GIFT, to the “people of the United States”.  Since she returned to Massachusetts, Ernestina-Morrissey has served as an educational platform and ambassador celebrating the rich maritime history and culture of the Commonwealth.  Help us return her to a SAILING future.  All proceeds will be matched 1:1 by the Manton Foundation.

A portion of the ticket price is a donation and is tax deductible to the extent of the law

For sponsorship opportunities CONTACT US.

You can purchase tickets in person at the The White Whale at the Whaling Museum during regular hours.

Online Tickets are available at the The White Whale online shop on the Whaling Museum website .  Click the LINK and enter your number of tickets, click “Buy now”, click “View Cart”, click “Checkout” to pay with credit card or PayPal.

Thank you for supporting Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey!

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Framing Finished!

The latest report from the shipyard is that the framing of Ernestina-Morrissey is complete!

The framing is done. This view from foredeck looking aft and shows the bracing that is holding the aft frames. The deck beams are next. credit Harold Burnham

Here's an earlier interior shot of the framing nearly done from forepeak looking aft credit Harold Burnham

For more photos and reports on the progress check the January Commission Report.

Harold Burnham, DCR Owners Representative for the Ernestina-Morrissey project, presented at a panel for the Tall Ships America Annual Meeting. The theme for the conference was The Way of a Ship: Linking our History, Heritage and Future., with one topic being Historic ship preservation and utilization. The panel discussed Maritime Heritage and included representatives from the USS Constitution, the Schooner Adventure, and the Schooner Ernestina Morrissey, all historic ships undergoing rehabilitation.  Good company for Ernestina-Morrissey!

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Save the Date!

SEMA RECEIVES $375,000 Challenge Grant from Manton Foundation!!!

Matching the Manton Foundation $375,000 challenge grant will be  instrumental in  SEMA’s reaching the $1,000,000 goal for Phase I

The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. (SEMA) announced the receipt of a $375,000 1:1 challenge grant from The Manton Foundation.   The funding will support the final stage of the three year, $6.3 million-dollar restoration/rehabilitation of the historic Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey.

Julius Britto, President of SEMA, stated; “We are enormously grateful to The Manton

Looking forward from the transom at the level of the weather deck. The aft "deck beams" are just temporary bracing. credit Phil Smith

Foundation for approving this most generous grant at such a critical stage in our campaign. The challenge gives SEMA a powerful catalyst to raise the $750,000 needed to complete the project. We are also grateful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and numerous private donors who already contributed $5,550,000 to the project, which launched in 2015.”

The Ernestina-Morrissey is a National Historic Landmark Vessel and the Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She was launched in Essex, Massachusetts in 1894 as a Grand Banks dory fishing schooner and subsequently made 20 voyages as an Arctic exploration vessel under the legendary Captain Bob Bartlett.  The Ernestina-Morrissey was then purchased by Captain Henrique Mendes, who used her as a trans-Atlantic and inter- island Cape Verde packet.  She was rebuilt and presented to the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the Republic of Cape Verde as a living symbol of the connections between the two countries, and served as an ambassador for the Commonwealth, a sail training vessel, and sea classroom before becoming a shore side exhibit in New Bedford.

Upon completion of the most recent renovation, currently underway in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the hull will meet Coast Guard standards for an “Ocean License,” a necessary requirement for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to add the vessel to its fleet. Thus, the Ernestina-Morrissey can begin yet another chapter in her remarkable life: training new generations of mariners, continuing to provide public programing, and serving as a sailing ambassador for the Commonwealth and our maritime heritage.

Anyone interested in helping SEMA meet the match can use the Donate button at the right.

Year End at the Shipyard

Happy New Year Ernestina-Morrissey!  We look forward to exciting progress in 2017.

Happy New Year! credit Harold Burnham

Phil Smith, a longtime friend of the ship visited the Shipyard last month.  He shared some great photos.

credit Phil Smith

Looking forward from the transom at the level of the weather deck. The aft "deck beams" are just temporary bracing. credit Phil Smith

Work is proceeding on the frames in the forward part of the ship. Here port and starboard parts of frames are ready to be installed. The bulkhead between the fo'c'sle and the engine room is helping support the deck. credit Phil Smith

The frames are assembled from the futtocks on the work table next to the hull with trunnels used to fasten the sections together. credit Phil Smith

Meanwhile the work continues in the stern. The transom frame as well as the rudder post has been painted. credit Phil Smith

The floors have been fastened to the cant frames and you can see the stern post forward of the rudder post. credit Phil Smith

Lower section of rudder post shaped to fit rudder shaft photo credit Phil Smith

Cant frame floors from side. credit Phil Smith

Floors and frames looking aft to transom credit Phil Smith

Patterns for shaping floors credit Phil Smith

About a week later photos from Harold show the bulkhead between the fo’c'sle and the engine room has been removed and the new frames are now resting on the keel and supporting the deck.

From the new stern you can look forward all the way to the stem now that the bulkhead has been removed. credit Harold Burnham

On the port side you can see the gap that still needs to be filled with new frames. credit Harold Burnham

The frames forward to the stem will stay in place. The new frames are easy to notice. The vertical beams support the deck with the bulkheads and steel I beam gone. credit Harold Burnham

The raw looking wood is an old floor, the grey painted area with debris on it is the new keel. Above the floor is the original keelson, still supporting the deck. credit Harold Burnham

This diagram shows the keel, floor and keelson. credit How a Wooden Ship is Built: Fig 2

During December work continued on the forward part of the ship.

A section of the original keelson. credit Harold Burnham

The crew is getting a frame ready to raise, Notice the jack and timber holding up the deck. credit Harold Burnham

The square hole held the I beam that was supporting the forward section of the ship. credit Harold Burnham

Check the Heavy Lifting post for what it looked like.

New frames forward. credit Harold Burnham

Starboard side new frames forward. credit Harold Burnham

A wonderful accomplishment for 2016 credit Harold Burnham

Thank all of you who have made this possible.  The SEMA board members are working hard and will have exciting news in the New Year.  Consider helping this work to ensure a SAILING future for Ernestina-Morrissey.  Please DONATE.

Your support can make a real difference! Give Today!

2016 has been an exciting year for Ernestina-Morrissey and you can be a part of it!

The title of Chester Brigham’s excellent “biography” of the schooner, Phoenix of the Sea, speaks to the multiple times she has emerged from what looked like her end to begin new chapters in her life story. From fishing vessel, to Arctic explorer, Cape Verdean Packet, to maritime educator, this National Historic Landmark Vessel, Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and part of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park has time and again survived difficult circumstances and flourished. Which leads us to her current situation.

photo credit: Harold Burnham

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The thrilling work now on-going at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard is replacing tired wood that has faithfully done its work with new strong timbers.  It’s occurring now because a public/ private partnership has provided $5.3 million dollars of the $6.3 million required to rehabilitate her hull to Coast Guard Ocean Certificate standards.

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photo credit: Harold Burnham

Why is this important? It’s important because once Ernestina-Morrissey meets the standards required to receive an Ocean Certificate, Massachusetts Maritime Academy will become her steward; incorporating her into their curricula, having cadets living aboard and sailing her, and continuing to offer summer programing out of New Bedford.

photo credit: Fred Sterner

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SEMA has pledged to raise the $1 million remaining required to finish the hull rehabilitation, and your support can make a real difference in this effort! We have just $750,000 left to reach our goal.

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Please give as generously as you can and support Ernestina-Morrissey’s latest Phoenix like transition to a new dynamic important life and role.

Join us and others, and be a part of both her historic past and her future. Donate Today!

Thank you,

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Julius Britto and the SEMA Board of Directors

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