SCHOONER ERNESTINA-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.

Ernestina Sailing Forward

The $50,000 Goal is in Sight!!!  More than $48,807 already raised!!!

September 30 was your last chance to donate to Ernestina Sailing Forward with the  GoFundMe portal . We will gladly accept your check or online donation to complete our pledge of raising $50,000 to purchase the new mainsail,

ESF only has $1,193 left to raise, won’t you help meet the goal!

Donate online (recomended) by PayPal HERE

If you prefer to pay by check, put “for the Mainsail” on the memo line and send to SEMA, PO Box 2995, New Bedford, MA 02741 with your mailing address and a note “for Ernestina Sailing Forward”.  If you have a special connection to Ernestina we’d love to know that too!

This pen, made of African hardwood, part of Ernestina's framing for 40 years, commemorates the gift. (watch the video)

Click to watch a terrific video celebrating the Repatriation in 1982 produced by Richardo and Alessandro Lopes, Voyage Digital Media.

~~~~ ESF is SO CLOSE to the goal!  Help us get to the finish line! Donate today!

In 1982 the people of Cape Verde sent a restored Ernestina ex Effie M. Morrissey back to Massachusetts as a gift to the people of the United States. Forty years later in 2022, Ernestina-Morrissey will once again visit ports along the coastline. Let’s “Raise the Mainsail!” for that trip as she sails from port to port carrying her history!

The Ernestina Sailing Forward Committee is asking for your donations and community support as we raise $50,000 for the purchase of the mainsail for the Ernestina-Morrissey. Now with her restoration nearing completion, Ernestina will again sail open waters in late 2021.

This pen, made of African hardwood, part of Ernestina's framing for 40 years, commemorates that gift.

A drawing, live on Zoom, was held on June 8th to announce the winners of 5 specially engraved African hardwood pens* (photo above).  The pens are from the wood that was used in the 1982 restoration of Ernestina.*   The winners were  Stephan Platzer, Edward Jackson, Catherine Dempsey, Jean Gifford and Stephen Baptiste. Congratulations! And thank you for your donations. Your pens will be in the mail soon. Stay tuned for a special sale of a small number of remaining pens.

~~~ There is less than $2,000 left to raise!  ~~~

Help  “Raise the Main” today!

You can donate as an individual, a family, an organization, a club, or anonymously to the Ernestina Sailing Forward Fund. 100% of your donation will go directly to Ernestina-Morrissey‘s sails, any financial fees will be paid by SEMA.  Any donation amount makes a difference in Raising the Sails on Our Tallest of Tall Ships as we get underway on a fully restored Ernestina-Morrissey impacting many generations to come and honoring our beloved Cape Verdean heritage.

Please donate HERE!

If you prefer to donate by mail please download THIS FORM (If you want you can make a dedication for your donation on the form.) Please indicate your donation is for the mainsail and mail to:

SEMA~Ernestina Sailing Forward

P.O. Box 2995

New Bedford, MA 02741

(Be sure to watch the wonderful video produced by Rick and Alessandro Lopes!)

The Hildreth-Stewart Charitable Foundation has donated $15.000 toward the mainsail! Bob Hildreth sent along this message:

Bob Hildreth ~ 2019 visit to the Shipyard

America owes a lot to Cape Verdeans who brought the Ernestina to America after its long history in the islands. It would be wonderful if the Cape Verdeans could remember their proud heritage by helping to raise the sails again of the Ernestina. Contribute to the campaign with any amount you can. And sail on the ship next year. The ship is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But its history belongs to you.

*For more information about the African hardwood follow this LINK.


Many donors have made a dedication any you can too. Memorial and Honors

Act Now! Viva Ernestina! Obrigado!



It is exciting to hear that Ernestina-Morrissey will be sailing soon! We will hear the call, “All hands to the halyards”, the order to get ready to raise the sails! Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association has committed to raising the funds for the new sails and we need “all hands” to help!

Ernestina-Morrissey needs to SAIL again! Photo Credit: Fred Leblanc

If you or your organization would be interested in sponsoring the cost of an individual sail please contact Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association at for details.

There are eight sails and two groups and two individuals have pledged to sponsor four of them!

A group, Ernestina Sailing Forward has  committed to sponsoring the mainsail.  Check the announcement HERE.

You can help Raise the Sails too!

We are receiving donations from all the watches #CapeAnnWatch, #BartletWatch, #CapeVerdeWatch  (Ernestina Sailing Forward~ESF), #HomeportNB Watch and #MaritimeWatch! What a great Crew Ernestina~Morrissey has!

Every donation is welcome, you too can help raise the sails, just click the yellow Donate button in the column on the top right.  You can join one of the groups above or just indicate which Watch of Ernestina~Morrissey‘s crew you want to represent when you make your donation!  A diverse crew pulling together will Raise the Sails and see Ernestina~Morrissey sailing to a bright future!

Every hand that “steps to” will receive recognition and a sponsor of a sail will have their name or the organization’s name, suitably commemorated by display on a plaque.


Hooray for Ernestina-Morrissey!



Progress in the Shipyard – February 22, 2021

If you are looking for new, up to date Progress reports, they are HERE

Thank you, Bristol Marine, for sharing the latest news of the great work your crew is accomplishing during the pre-launch fitting out of Ernestina-Morrissey!  In the attached series of photos, you will see progress on the restoration of the Ernestina-Morrissey at Bristol Marine’s Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor.  Currently, all work on the Ernestina-Morrissey at the Shipyard is being funded through the generosity of the Lenfest Family.

1. Engine Room Exhaust

We recently saw the installation of an 11" electric ducting exhaust fan in the engine room. This fan is located just below the starboard side ventilation box, and is designed to help pull a sufficient amount of air through the engine room for the engines in that space to operate properly. This is a high-quality component that looks very nice alongside all the other quality components being installed in the ship.

2. Foc’sle Head

While our plumbing team has moved into the main cabin, our carpenters have been able to revisit the Foc'sle space and continue with accommodation installations. This head cabinet is beginning to take shape. The door for this head is built and currently being painted. Very soon we will see the vanity, sink, and toilet being installed.

3.Galley Counter

Like the head space, our carpentry team was forced to slow progress in areas of the Foc'sle while the plumbers did their work. The galley space is now back on line as David Short has returned to the more intricate custom countertop and cupboard installation. This week we are expecting to see the galley sink fitted in this assembly as we get closer and closer to a complete cabin.

4. Main Cabin Accomodation

This image shows progress on multiple aspects of the project. Along the fore and aft stringer you can see wastewater drainage plumbing integrated into the bunk structure. The crew has been communicating and working well together as installations are overlapping more and more. Coordination is critical to this final push through the ship to complete the interior and more attention to details like this will help us achieve our goals on time.

5. Main Cabin Plumbing

There is no such thing as a simple installation on a ship. Every component going into this vessel is custom designed and often takes creative installation methods to fit and work properly. The plumbing system is a great example of this. This one image of a relatively minor aspect of the waste water plumbing system shows 28 different connections and 8 different types of components in order to make the system work properly through this particular space.

6. New Generators

This image shows one of a pair of new Onan 17kw gensets sitting in position inside the ship. Both generators have been lowered into place and will be receiving a final fit before being secured this week. We are excited to see the engine room finally living up to its name.

Meet Tiffany Krihwan, Ernestina-Morrissey’s New Captain!

Massachusetts Maritime Academy announced this morning:


Tiffany Krihwan at the helm of the Ernestina-Morrissey

BUZZARDS BAY, MA – February 22, 2021 – The Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) is pleased to announce Tiffany Krihwan as the new Captain of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, the renovated tall ship is expected to arrive at the Cape Cod campus in the Fall of 2021.

Krihwan joins the MMA staff from Discovery World in Milwaukee where she was Director of Marine Operations since 2014 and Senior Captain of the Denis Sullivan, a 19th-century Great Lakes schooner, since 2008.

“We’re adding a proven leader to our ranks, and I’m looking forward to seeing Captain Krihwan at the helm of the Ernestina-Morrissey,” said Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, USMS, President of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. “We’re excited to have a Captain of Tiffany’s sailing experience, leadership skills and passion for our program aboard.”

An Erie, Pa., native, Krihwan took up sailing FJs (The International Flying Junior,  a sailing dinghy) at the age of 10 at the Erie Yacht Club. She began sailing tall ships in 1997 when she was appointed Chief Mate of the Appledore IV. Other leadership positions include Captain of the Boston-based schooner Roseway, Chief Mate of the Pride of Baltimore II, Relief Captain of the Los Angeles-based brigantine Exy Johnson and Captain of the tall ship Unicorn.

“It’s an honor to be joining MMA and captaining the Ernestina-Morrissey. It’s hard to beat the beauty and grandeur of tall ships,” said Krihwan.

Drawn to the position at MMA by the Ernestina-Morrissey’s history and pedigree, Krihwan is looking forward to guiding the ship and her crew on the waters off Cape Cod. “I’ve sailed on a few Grand Banks Fishing Schooners, the Lettie G. Howard and Roseway, over the years and love the way they sail so effortlessly. They are amazing sailing vessels,” she said.

With the Ernestina-Morrissey, Krihwan is eager to start a sail training program from the ground up and help integrate a tall ship into MMA’s curriculum. “This is such a special opportunity not only for me, but for the cadets,” she said. “Working with these historic vessels helps individuals become far better sailors. You really need to observe the fundamental principles of sailing.”

She also will have an important role in teaching the cadets at the Academy and mentoring them to become leaders. According to Krihwan, her leadership style is to lead by example and believes a captain is only as good as her crew. Her hope is to not only share her love of tall ships with the cadets but also pass along skills that are important on sea and land.

“One of my favorite aspects of sailing a tall ship is seeing the crew and students personally grow from the experience and witness their confidence in themselves develop during their time aboard the ship,” Krihwan explained. “My hope is that they take the experience with them and apply the skills and attributes learned at sea to their shore life.”

Krihwan will be relocating to the Cape Cod area with her 11-year-old daughter. In her spare time, she plans to continue the restoration of the “Mahanna,” her wooden 30′ Tahiti Ketch.

About the Ernestina-Morrissey: The Ernestina-Morrissey is a Gloucester fishing schooner originally built with white oak and yellow pine and launched in 1894. It is undergoing a historical renovation at Bristol Marine Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and will arrive at MMA in the fall of 2021. MMA will focus the efforts of the Ernestina-Morrissey in three areas: sail-training and leadership training for cadets, K-12 STEM programming, and community outreach. The Ernestina-Morrissey’s history includes traveling within 600 miles of the North Pole as an explorer ship, fishing for cod in the Atlantic, and eventually becoming a Cape Verde packet ship. In 1982, the Ernestina-Morrissey became a gift to the United States from the people of the Cape Verde Islands.

About Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA): MMA is a fully accredited, four-year, co-educational state university offering Bachelor and Master of Science degrees that are highly regarded in the worldwide maritime industry and beyond. For more than 100 years, MMA has been preparing women and men for exciting and rewarding careers on land and sea. As the nation’s finest co-ed maritime college, MMA challenges students to succeed by balancing a unique regimented lifestyle with a typical four-year college environment. Located on Cape Cod, at the mouth of the scenic Cape Cod Canal, Massachusetts Maritime Academy is the ideal college to pursue the love for the ocean, concern for the environment, interest in math and science, and thirst for adventure.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy has implemented a comprehensive COVID-19 spring return plan and is committed to four main priorities during these challenging times. These priorities are: To keep our cadets, faculty and staff – and by extension, their families – safe; To keep the Academy from becoming a mass-transmission center; To find a path to get our 1/C cadets (seniors) to degree completion in time for Commencement; and To minimize the academic disruption for the 2/C, 3/C and 4/C cadets (underclass students). The full COVID-19 dashboard and plan can be found at:

Progress in the Shipyard – February 9, 2021

Thank you, Bristol Marine, for sharing the latest news of the great work your crew is accomplishing during the pre-launch fitting out of Ernestina-Morrissey!  In the attached series of photos, (thank you again! Bob Mitchell for your great photos) you will see progress on the restoration of the Ernestina-Morrissey at Bristol Marine’s Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor.  Currently, all work on the Ernestina-Morrissey at the Shipyard is being funded through the generosity of the Lenfest Family.


Tom Gerhardt is working hard in the cabinetry shop preparing new cabinet installations for the accommodation spaces. The cabinetry shop has been a very busy space this winter. A separate team of carpenters prepares the various pieces for installation in this shop first before final fitting on the ship. Photo Credit to Robert Mitchell

Deck Beams

Kevin Danfelser and Jon Brassard have been busy with difficult overhead sanding and painting. The deck beams in the forward cabin are being finished to match the high quality painted and varnished surfaces throughout the boat. Photo Credit to Robert Mitchell

Engine Room Floor

Jason Brassard is not sitting idle. He is preparing specific areas of the floor for a safety railing that will surround the main engine once it is installed. In a rough seaway it will be nice to have some strong support to keep safe when operating in and around dangerous machinery. Photo Credit to Robert Mitchell

Metal Fabrication

Devon Campbell is preparing a weld in our fabrication shop. He has been working closely with our mechanical team to organize the safe installation of our generators and main engine. Next week we expect to see the engines landed in the mechanical space on the ship and Devon's work will ensure these heavy items are managed with care. Photo Credit to Robert Mitchell

More Doors

More magic from the carpentry shop. Like the aft cabin, the head spaces in the main cabin and forward cabin will receive the same beautiful doors. One more to build once the glue dries and the clamps are removed. Photo Credit to Robert Mitchell

Winter Pier

While this may look like a serene postcard image there is a hive of activity inside those picturesque buildings. Photo Credit to Robert Mitchell

Ernestina Loses a Friend in Fred Kalisz, Former New Bedford Mayor

Gregg Swanzey shared the contributions of Fred Kalisz to Schooner Ernestina during his mayoralty:

Our sincere condolences go out to Pat and Ricky Kalisz who were right alongside Fred in his tenure as Mayor of the City of New Bedford in 1998 through 2006. These were exciting years of growth and partnership for Schooner Ernestina from our homeport at State Pier on the New Bedford waterfront. Fred Kalisz moved forward important initiatives that were important to us such as Sea Lab, Martha’s Vineyard Ferry Service, the newly established New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, New Bedford Art Museum, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, AHA! and much more. These were the years when Summerfest and the Working Waterfront Festival got their footing. What was clear about Fred was that he cared about New Bedford and was bold in his actions to move the City forward. He got a lot rolling in his time in office. We sincerely appreciated his vision and partnership. It felt like we had someone who was pulling along with us as we looked to build a strong public – private partnership to Keep Ernestina Sailing!

Gregg Swanzey, Captain and Executive Director for the Schooner Ernestina Commission 1991 – 2006

Links to Mayor Kalisz “Invest in Kids” program on the July 2003 Calendar

Progress in the Shipyard – January 29, 2021

Thank you, Bristol Marine, for sharing the latest news of the great work your crew is accomplishing during the pre-launch fitting out of Ernestina-Morrissey!  In the attached series of photos, you will see progress on the restoration of the Ernestina-Morrissey at Bristol Marine’s Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor.  Currently, all work on the Ernestina-Morrissey at the Shipyard is being funded through the generosity of the Lenfest Family.

Foc’sle plumbing:

Storage tanks have been installed, now the team is assembling the plumbing manifold for overboard discharge and deck pump-out. This image shows a very clean assembly that will be well labeled and easy to use


The aft cabin continues to come together beautifully. Varnished moldings have been added to complete the bunk and bench installations.

Assembling bunks:

Tom Gerhardt is carefully laying out the positioning of outboard cleats that will be used to support bunks along the port side of the Main Cabin.

Windlass Assembly:

Ross Branch has been working hard to finalize the assembly of the final galvanized metal components. This image shows a test fit prior to the final placement next week.

Fish Hold Construction:

Kaz and Dave working together to install a vertical partition for bunks along the port side of the Main Cabin. Having recently completed the bunk construction in the forward cabin, the team is moving quickly and efficiently to accomplish similar work in the final accommodation space.

Finished Bunks:

The Foc'sle (forward cabin) is looking terrific. With the bunks completed, work will pivot into the Main Cabin and galley space. It is exciting to imagine a full compliment of crew filling these bunks in the future

You can easily access all our past posts about the Ernestina-Morrissey rehabilitation project HERE.

If you would like to help just click the yellow DONATE button at the right.

Progress in the Shipyard – January 08, 2021


Happy New Year! We are looking forward to spending the next New Year’s Eve together, watching fireworks through the rigging of Ernestina-Morrissey again!

While we wait please enjoy the latest report for the Shipyard:

Thank you, Bristol Marine, for sharing the latest news of the great work your crew is accomplishing during the pre-launch fitting out of Ernestina-Morrissey!  In the attached series of photos, you will see progress on the restoration of the Ernestina-Morrissey at Bristol Marine’s Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor.  Currently, all work on the Ernestina-Morrissey at the Shipyard is being funded through the generosity of the Lenfest Family.


Foc’sle bunks

Sam Perkins is carefully fitting the last few vertical partitions for the port side benches. These benches will serve a dual role in this space. A large mess table will be built in the center of the cabin and these benches will serve as the seating. The benches will also serve as storage spaces for the personal belongings of each bunk occupant.

Waste Tank installations

Devon and Mike have carefully loaded all the remaining waste tanks in the ship. Here, they are installing the starboard side black water tank. This tank was built of fiberglass by our team at the Shipyard. We chose fiberglass for it's non-corrosive properties and durability. These fiberglass tanks are incredibly strong.

Sink installation

The Aft Cabin sink has been installed, and looks terrific! The cupboard door will remain off until the plumbing is completed in the next couple of weeks. Once everything is hooked up, a final coat of varnish will be applied before the entire unit is wrapped in protective coverings until sea trials next summer!

Aft Head Door

We all have been following this project closely. The door is finally hung, and it looks perfect. The quality of work speaks for itself.

Plastic Tanks

In this ship, we have different tank construction methods for different purposes. The tank shown here was recently delivered from our partners at Triple M Plastics in Kennebunk, ME. Plastic, or more accurately polyethylene tank construction is light and durable. This style tank is used across the industry for many different purposes. We chose to use this style for our grey water waste tanks. Unlike the black water tanks, these will never be pressurized and should serve their purpose very well for years to come.

Ventilators installed

These large ventilators have been placed and installed on top of their respective dorade boxes. These are quite large, and look terrific as a pair. The dorade boxes were built specifically to match the exact camber of the deck while remaining level along the top surface. Unlike other ventilators on the ship, these two have a very important purpose. These provide a specific volume of air to adequately ventilate the Engine Room. The port side ventilator is designated as the intake, while the starboard side will be mated to an exhaust fan in the engine compartment to cycle the air through the space. Like everything on a ship, they are beautiful but also serve a purpose.


Jose Centeio Elected Chairperson of SEMAB


SEMAB held their second meeting Friday December 18, 2020.

SEMAB Chairperson Jose Couto Centeio

Jose Couto Centeio was elected chairperson and Captain Elizabeth Simmons was elected vice chair.

An Education Committee was was established with the first members: Dagny Ashley, Melissa DeValles, Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes (Chair), Dr. Brian Rothschild and Dr. Timothy Walker.  Read more HERE.


The Tallest of Tall Ships

In the 2014 Autumn issue of Sea History Magazine, (you can access all issues by scrolling down HERE)  Captain Walter Rybka wrote about his ranking of the most historically significant American vessels. The first three are naval vessels, the USS Constitution, ex USS Olympia and ex USS Constellation. The fourth? Ernestina-Morrissey!  ( The article was published just before the name change)

Check what Captain Rybka wrote below, or better yet, get lost in the past issues of SEA HISTORY , the magazine of the National Maritime Historical Society, a long time supporter of Ernestina-Morrissey!

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