A Milestone Reached, Thanks All Around!
The last plank for the rehabilitation of Ernestina-Morrissey was placed on October 25, 2018 at Bristol Marine’s Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
Some of you have stopped by the shipyard to watch the progress and you know how truly amazing the work the shipwrights are doing to bring Ernestina-Morrissey back to sailing condition again. We try to give you an idea with the photos and information on this page, but you really need to stand there and watch to appreciate work that is being done. Ernestina-Morrissey will be, as Julius told the Commission this week, “a superior ship that the Commonwealth will be proud to have as the Official Vessel” Thank you to the talented crew at Bristol Marine’s Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor!
Before the installation, the last or “shutter” plank was inscribed with the names chosen by members of SEMA’s Whiskey Plank Club and others whose contributions combined to make a sailing future for Ernestina-Morrissey possible.
Thank you Commonwealth of Massachusetts!
Thank you to Governor Baker and Governor Patrick whose vision of the future is assuring that we have a “superior ship”. Thank you to the governor-appointed Schooner Ernestina Commission, working with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to oversee the work and plan a future for Ernestina-Morrissey that will serve the citizens of Massachusetts and will honor the diverse constituencies that treasure the vessel, from descendants of Gloucester fishermen, Arctic explorers and scientists, Cape Verdean-Americans and thousands of people that sailed, learned and celebrated aboard Ernestina after she returned to Massachusetts in 1982.
Thank you to both Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest and Bob Hildreth who were instrumental in convincing the Commonwealth that there would be private financial support that together with public funds would provide sufficient resources to rehabilitate Ernestina-Morrissey and ensure that she would sail again. Thank you to the other “convincers” who were all the members of SEMA who continue to support the vessel with their donations and by communicating how and why they value her.
The names of the early captains whose decisions ensured that Ernestina-Morrissey will go down in history as the most important working vessel, even as she sails into her future!
It is inspiring to see the many names of the generations who have supported Ernestina-Morrissey, from the descendants of Gloucester fishermen and Arctic explorers, to generations of Cape Verdean-Americans and all the “crew” who have loved the vessel since 1982. Above are inscriptions from the Education, Bartlett and Cape Verdean eras. All the inscriptions, supported by donations from Whiskey Plank Club Members were mixed together like this one. Effie M. Morrissey’s and Ernestina’s crews together!
John Bullard, who attended the ceremony, said “We celebrate this milestone in her journey to rebirth. To come this far in her restoration is a testament to SEMA, the City of New Bedford, and the highest levels of state government working together with a common goal. It is our shared anticipation of her future teaching the public about ocean science and maritime history that excites us most.”
Julius Britto was beaming as he said, “The craftsmanship and materials used in this revival of the Ernestina-Morrissey will make everyone associated with this project proud. Those who participate in her future cultural, educational and sailing programs will receive a world class experience.”
This Project is being supported with funds from the City of New Bedford’s Community Preservation Act Program,
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