Excerpt from Schooner Ernestina Shipmates’ Log Vol. 1 # 1, Winter 1989/1990:

As Captain Dan and crew provided safe, hardy life-experiences at sea, the Ernestina/Morrissey Museum welcomed visitors to New Bedford from all over the world.

Our Museum program was provided to over twenty groups visiting us from as far as Japan, Canada and Cleveland, Ohio. If the ship was in port, the program included a tour. The traveling component of our program visited cities as far west as Stamford, CT. Many thanks to our in the field volunteer "History Under Sail" program presenters who provided information to groups that staff could not possibly make.

In Ernestina/Morrissey’s 95th year, we successfully completed our transition from restoration phase to full operations as a Sailing School Ship. It is exciting to talk, plan and schedule with the many groups and individuals who want to experience 19th century Ernestina. The interest received from all circles speaks to the determination of the many supporters over the years who helped Ernestina along the way.

Ernestina completed 19 extended programs ranging from a minimum of three days to a maximum of two weeks. It is satisfying to report that we served a broad spectrum of socio-economic populations. This included such diverse groups as boys from a psychiatric boarding school, inner-city public schools, private schools, youth-at-risk, special educators in-service and senior-citizen agencies.

Our general public programs: "The Great Gloucester Schooner Race Cruise," "Herman Melville: Call Me Ishmael Cruise," "The Southern New England Island Cruise," and "Introduction to Day Sailing" were sold out. Free Public Day Sails were sponsored by the Commission for the general public and the New Bedford Area Community Agencies.

The Commission participates in Project COACH, (Community Organization for Alternative Court Help) a program that allows kids to offer community service hours to local organizations. Fifteen kids offered between 25 and 100 hours to Ernestina.

Ernestina made another voyage back to Brigus, Newfoundland this year with stops in Portland, ME; Digby, Nova Scotia; Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; St. Johns, Newfoundland and Shelbourne, Nova Scotia.

An article appeared in the Standard-Times on Sunday, August 19, 1990 by Anne Eisenmenger.

Aboard as crew were Tom Goux and Jacek Sulanowski, shown in the fo'c's'le in the news clipping to the right, who continue to be active with Ernestina. Today Deidre O'Regan is editor for Sea History Magazine (shown onboard in 1990 below).

1990 Shipboard Staff

Daniel Moreland, Master
Carl Brown, Mate
Scott Jeffrey, Mate
Laurie Moon, Purser
Tom Goux, Chanteyman
Jacek Sulanowski, Chanteyman
Joseph Keenan, Steward
Lawrence Pina, Apprentice
Margaret Ann Cohn, Deckhand

Deirdre "Dee" O'Regan, Deckhand
Donald Frost, Deckhand
Ricardo Gonzales, Apprentice
Karen Merritt, Deckhand

Leonard Brainsky donated a fabulous model to the Schooner Ernestina Commission.

An article in the New Bedford Standard-Times, October 12, 1990:

Ernestina in storage; crew laid off, by Natalie White.

Faced with $89,000 in debts and questions about funds, the Massachusetts Schooner Ernestina Commission will shut its office Tuesday.

The state auditor’s office is also reviewing the Ernestina’s finances for the first time in seven years, after a privately commissioned audit last year revealed that an undetermined amount of money cannot be accounted for.

Capt. Daniel Moreland and the schooner’s crew, who hoped to make a training trip to the South Pacific this fall, are laid off as of today. An administrative assistant and director will stop working Tuesday and close the commission’s office and museum at 30 Union Street.

Spokesman for the state auditors office, Zvi A. Sesling, said the audit that is being conducted is routine and that all agencies that receive state money are subject to review. However, an internal audit ordered by the commission in 1989 raised questions about the Ernestina’s finances. The audit revealed an undetermined amount of money not accounted for.

That audit - done by Rosenfield, Holland and Raymond Accountants and Auditors of New Bedford - criticized the Ernestina’s bookkeeping and accounting methods and recommended several safeguards such as a formalized purchasing policy and strict petty cash rules.

Capt. Daniel Moreland, who until two weeks ago also held the title of executive director, said he and the rest of the Ernestina staff are cooperating fully with the state auditors.

"We ran the ship entrepreneurially. We got it up and going and we got it a lot of attention," said Mr. Moreland. "With what we had to work with, we’ve done an amazing job. We’ve been making it happen with next to nothing. We have just been kind of winging it, and to a remarkable degree it has worked."

Mr. Bucar, former president of WHALE, said, Capt. Moreland’s dedication to the schooner brought the Ernestina through some very difficult times and helped establish the Ernestina in this community and in New England as an important historic landmark.

"His handling of the Ernestina has been remarkable. His love of that ship and his care - why, that ship is his life, " Mr. Bucar said. "He has devoted everything he has to that ship."

Without Capt. Moreland’s enthusiasm for the schooner the Ernestina project may not have been as successful as it has been, Mr. Bucar said.

"The Ernestina on many occasions was living from hand-to-mouth. Dan did whatever he had to do to keep it going," he said. "There is no doubt in my mind that whatever money went to the Ernestina went into that ship or for some particulars related to that ship. Right now, I would refuse to believe otherwise."

The New Bedford Standard-Times December 18, 1990:

Ernestina wins landmark status, by Pamela Glass

The U.S. Interior Department has listed the New Bedford-based schooner Ernestina as a national landmark, citing the ship’s unique construction and rich history.

Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan, following the recommendations of historians and maritime experts, signed the designation Friday. An announcement was made Monday by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who had pressed for the designation.

The Ernestina was one of six other ships and 19 sites chosen for the honor, which does not bring any direct federal aid but will enhance the ship’s ability to win state, federal, and private preservation funds.

The schooner, built in 1894 in Essex, will be the third site in New Bedford to win the designation. The U.S. Customs House and the city’s historic district are already national landmarks.

In his recommendation to Mr. Lujan, maritime historian James P. Delgado cited five reasons why the ship deserved the designation. He said the Ernestina is the oldest surviving Grand Banks fishing schooner; the only surviving 19th-century Essex-built fishing schooner; one of two remaining examples of the Fredonia-style schooner, the most famous type of fishing boat; the only offshore example of the Fredonia style; and one of two sailing Arctic exploration vessels still afloat in the United States.

Other ships winning the landmark designation include the Potomac, Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential yacht, and the bark Elissa in Galveston, Texas, the second oldest operational sailing vessel in the world.

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