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.

Thank you Gene Monteiro

After two terms as a member of the Schooner Ernestina Commission, Gene Montiero fulfilled his last duty as
Master of Ceremonies of the “Celebrating Ernestina-Morrissey” Gala.  Gene’s broad connections to the SouthCoast and all of its communities served the Commission well as support for the vessel was cultivated and planning began for her future.   Those six years were so important to setting this course to the future that the vessel is now on.
SEMA looks forward to Gene’s help and participation in our role as an advocate supporter of Ernestina-Morrissey.

“We are getting a SUPERIOR SHIP”

SEMA President Julius Britto visited Boothbay Harbor Shipyard this week to view the progress and confer with Harold Burnham and David Short.  His response?  ”We are getting a SUPERIOR SHIP when ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY leaves Boothbay Harbor Shipyard.”

The floors are all in and a temporary platform will provide a work surface.

Installing the stringers and clamps is next

Sandra and Julius Britto excited to see the progress on Ernestina-Morrissey

Julius expressed gratitude for everyone’s hard work.

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”

Winner ! Jan daSilva

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.

Winner ! Julius Britto

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.

Winner ! Nicole M. P.

Fourth Prize

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

Winner ! Dagny Ashley

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.


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.


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!


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!


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.

← Older posts   |   Newer posts →