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.

The News from Boothbay Harbor Shipyard

Work is progressing at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard and many of you that have visited have sent photos.  Commissioner Fred Sterner met with the shipyard crew July 29.  The photos have been compiled in a Flickr Album.  When you click on a photo it enlarges and if you scroll down most have descriptions.  Keep sending those photos.  It is an amazing process to watch!

The crew was able to remove the aft cabin, constructed in Cape Verde of African Mahogany, intact. Photo Credit: Fred Beauchemin

Eric Graves, President of Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, recently shared with CBS 13 a description of the Ernestina-Morrissey project. And Laurie Schreiber of the Island Institute recently published an article in The Working Waterfront.

Ernestina-Morrissey and Cape Verdean Recognition Week

Ernestina-Morrissey was well represented during Cape Verdean Recognition Week Festivities.

The Museum displayed the model of the ship from their collection.

On June 30 the New Bedford Whaling Museum hosted a special event as SEMA President Julius Britto described his experiences being present at the formal transition to independence for Cape Verde 40 years ago.  Schooner Ernestina Commissioner and Whaling Museum trustee Eugene Monteiro introduced Julius.

Julius described his first introduction to Schooner Ernestina during that visit.  We hope New Bedford Cable Access will have the recording available soon.

SEMA Directors and Schooner Ernestina Commissioners shared the latest news from the shipyard during the reception.

On Sunday Commissioner once again lead the Ernestina-Morrissey contingent in the Cape Verdean Recognition Parade with SEMA director Derek Stevens.

Commissioner Gene Monteiro & Grand Marshall Victor Fonseca Photo Credit ROBERT HUGHES STANDARD-TIMES SPECIAL

Check out the YouTube Video.

Cabo Verde — 40 Years after Independence

Where were you on July 5th, 1975?

Julius Britto was in Praia, Cape Verde.  Julius will take you to there to re-live the

Juilus Britto's 1975 passport photo

excitement of the first Independence Celebration of Cape Verde.  You will be fascinated as he recounts his life-changing experiences leading up to and after that eventful day in Cape Verdean history.

You will hear how this experience became the driving force in his support for the preservation of the Ernestina-Morrissey.  Julius was appointed to the first Massachusetts Ernestina Commission in 1977 by Governor Michael Dukakis.  He is currently President of Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. and is working with the Ernestina

Ernestina leaving Cape Verde in 1982

Commission to assure a bright, SAILING future for the Ernestina-Morrissey.

This presentation for the 43rd Cape Verdean Recognition Week is sponsored by the Schooner Ernestina Commission, the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  During the 6:00 pm reception you can enjoy the Museum’s Yankee Baleeiros! Travelling Exhibit which will be displayed in the Jacob’s Gallery.

Julius is the Great Grandson of a Cape Verdean Whaler. He was born in Wareham; graduated from Wareham High School; obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts and a graduate degree from Boston University.

He became an adult probation officer in 1974 and in 1980 he was sworn in as a United States Probation officer. In 2006 Julius retired as a Supervising United States Probation officer in the Boston Federal Probation office.

Julius and his wife Sandra are the owners of Attentive Home Care, Inc. located in Marion, Ma.

What?  A presentation for the 43rd Cape Verdean Recognition Week by the Schooner Ernestina Commission, the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  The Museum’s Yankee Baleeiros! Travelling Exhibit will be displayed in the Jacob’s Gallery.

Where: New Bedford Whaling Museum

18 Johnny Cake Hill

New Bedford, MA

When: Tuesday June 30, 2015

Reception: 6:00 pm

Lecture: 6:30

A New History of Ernestina-Morrissey

SEMA Secretary Mary Anne McQuillan, Author Chester Brigham, Schooner Ernestina Commission Chair Laura Pires-Hester

On Saturday, June 13, Chester Brigham introduced his new book to an enthusiastic audience at Cape Ann Museum.  Phoenix of the Seas :Ernestina-Morrissey State Ship of Massachusetts” is available at the gift shop at the Museum and at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

Laura Pires-Hester’s blurb.

recommends that anyone who loves Ernestina-Morrissey should read this book.






Here’s how to order your own copy.


And here is a review from Lauren Daley.

Also available on

Click the Amazon Smile link on the right to benefit Ernestina-Morrissey with your purchase.







Here’s Where Ernestina-Morrissey Has Been

Ernestina at Seamen's Bethel

On a lovely summer evening the New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus took the audience at the Seamen’s Bethel for a voyage by song, visiting the far reaches of the world’s oceans.  AHA!’s Latitude and Longitude theme was a celebration of the many lives of Ernestina-Morrissey.  Where has she been?  Launched from Essex, MA, for her first 30 years she fished the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and carried cargo and fished from New England to Labrador.   Since 1926 she has traveled to Asia, South America, Europe (Iceland) and Africa. The farthest North, South East and West:

Farthest SOUTH, 1928, West coast of Panama, 6° N, 80° W

Farthest WEST, 1928, Wrangel Island, Siberia, Russia, 71 ° N,  180° W

Farthest NORTH, 1940, Ellesmere Island, Canada, 80° 22’ 30’ N,  62° W

Farthest EAST, 1951, Dakar, Senegal,14° N, 17° W

Progress in Boothbay

First, a great big THANK YOU! to the crew that safely brought the ship safely to Boothbay Harbor Shipyard

Captain Charlie Mitchell and his crew on the Jaguar had great conditions for the voyage. photo: Harold Burnham

And here’s the crew that was aboard the Ernestina-Morrissey to make sure she was safe for the transit.

Harold Burnham; Josh Navone; Eric Graves; Capt. Dave Thompson; Larry Colcord

The ship has been in the yard for 7 weeks and much planning work is being done but there has been some visible progress as well.  As you can see, the masts have been removed and the anchors are off.  Harold Burnham showed Matthew the plans last week.  Check back for more photos in a few days.

Matthew Stackpole & Harold Burnham

Book launch at Cape Ann Museum

Phoenix of the Seas, by Chester Brigham

The three-ocean, three-centuries saga of the Gloucester schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, State Ship of Massachusetts

Please join us at the Cape Ann Museum, Saturday June 13 at 3:00 with a presentation by the author

The Ernestina-Morrissey’s story is one of wide-ranging maritime adventures, lived by a remarkable cast of captains, crews and voyagers. Sailing to the Grand Banks from Gloucester for cod in the 1890s … voyaging to the Arctic every year for almost two decades on scientific expeditions … serving under both the U.S. Army and Navy in the Arctic during World War II … crossing the Atlantic a dozen times as a packet ship, linking Cape Verdean-Americans in New England with family members on their home islands … back in America under sail out of New Bedford, educating boatloads of school children on the wonders of their ocean environment.

In Phoenix of the Seas, Chester Brigham writes of the indomitable spirit of the Ernestina-Morrissey. Of the men and women who have commanded her: Gloucester fishing captains Bill and Clayton Morrissey, Arctic navigator Bob Bartlett, Henrique Mendes on Cape Verde, round-the-world captain Dan Moreland. Of the lives the vessel has touched: dory-trawling fishermen on the Grand Banks, hardy field scientists, Inuit hunters, GIs at remote weather stations, Atlantic islanders, volunteers who have sacrificed much for love of the ship.

She has been written off as doomed time and again. But now, this Phoenix ship will rise from the ashes once again! Thanks to a combination of private and state funding, the Ernestina-Morrissey is to be completely restored – after which, based at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, she will set sail in her next, yet-to-be-decided incarnation.

Gloucester author Chester Brigham has written three other books on Gloucester’s maritime history: On Opposite Tacks (2011), Gloucester’s Bargain with the Sea (2007) and The Stream I Go A-Fishing In (2003). Phoenix of the Seas. Whale’s Jaw Publishing. Hardcover. 296 pages. 42 illustrations. ISBN 978-0-9740778-4-0

Where in the World has Ernestina-Morrissey been?

The Seamen’s Bethel and the Schooner Ernestina Commission

present Latitudes and Longitudes of Ernestina-Morrissey.  Plotting then Singing!

June 11  AHA!  Seamen’s Bethel, New Bedford, MA

6 PM –For kids and kids at heart:  Where in the World has Ernestina-Morrissey been? Where is she now?  Plot the ship’s latitude and longitude for her furthest North, South, East and West voyages.  Find out just how far North, South,  East and West the ship has been and you will be amazed!  And hear about what’s going on since she left New Bedford April 12.

6:30-7:30 – The New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus will bring you along on a voyage across the oceans of the world.  Come and be transported North, South, East and West.

1982 Using Sextant on the repatriation voyage from "Bringing E Home"

1931 Bartlett taking sight from stern, Norcross voyage 1

Navigating Ernestina-Morrissey

Ernestina-Morrissey on the Railway

The Ernestina-Morrissey is on the cradle at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. The tall ship will remain there for the next several years as it undergoes a $6 million restoration project. BEN BULKELEY/Boothbay Register

The Boothbay Register published a great time-lapse of the haul-out process.  Now the repairs can begin!  Capt. Harold Burnham, DCR’s representative during this reconstruction,  will be at the shipyard later this week.  We plan to have frequent updates on the progress of the work.  Like our Facebook page for the latest news.

Ernestina-Morrissey Safe in Boothbay

Ernestina-Morrissey is next in line to be brought up the railway. She will be there for 2-3 years while the work progresses. photo by David Stickney

After a 24 hour trip under tow from New Bedford, Ernestina-Morrissey has arrived at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, her berth for the next few years while she undergoes reconstruction to ready her for her fifth life.  More photos will be posted soon, meanwhile, enjoy these reports.


YouTube video of departure by Mike Estabrook

Boothbay Register Monday April 13

Boothbay Register November 21, 2014

Portland Press Herald

SEMA Facebook page

Mystic Seaport Maritime History

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