Frames and Fastenings
It is surprising, even startling, the first time you see the ship with the whole aft deck off. But then you remember this is what has to happen for the ship to return to sailing again.
You notice the mass of the deck beams and lodging knees that supported the deck, just amazing! Then you notice all the stubs of fastenings.
The promise to return the Ernestina to the United States was a huge commitment from Cape Verde, this small island country, newly independent from Portugal. They worked hard and sacrificed and received donations from supporters. Some of the fastenings were donated by Tremont Nail Company. SEMA President Julius Britto who was a member of the first Schooner Ernestina Commission recollects “In about 1978 or 79 I was able to get some of the last few square cut nails from the Tremont Nail Factory. As best that I can recall I stopped by the factory. An older gentlemen at the factory found a half dozen boxes of large square nails in wooden boxes. When I told him what we would be using them for in Cape Verde he donated them.” And some of the fastenings used were fabricated in Cape Verde.
When you see this you think of all the craftspeople who have worked on the ship over the years from the original shipwrights who built the Effie M. Morrissey in the James and Tarr yard in Essex, then of the greenheart sheath and other modifications Captain Bartlett made to transform the ship into an Arctic expedition vessel. Then as Ernestina, the continued work of Captain Henrique Mendes to “keep her going” and the work by the Cape Verdean People preparing their gift to the US. Once in Massachusetts, the work to bring the ship to US Coast Guard certification lead by Captain Dan Moreland and the Schooner Ernestina Commission, and always haulouts for continued maintenance through 2004.
Now the ship is being readied for “the rest of the story” or at least the next chapter of the remarkable story of this amazing vessel Ernestina-Morrissey.
There are more photos in the Flickr Album.
You can help us with your DONATION to make sure Ernestina-Morrissey sails again.