Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Cape Verdean Voyages
Logbook 1954-1955 Transcripts

On August 18, 1948, the Effie M. Morrissey sailed from New Bedford State Pier on the first trans-Atlantic voyage as a Cape Verdean-owned packet schooner still under the US flag. It was on the other side of the Atlantic in December 1948 that the ship's name was changed to Ernestina and she became a Cape Verdean (Portuguese) flag vessel. This was the beginning of an era from 1948 through 1965 of regular trans-Atlantic voyages between Cape Verde and the Providence/New Bedford region of New England.

To read a transcript of three of the voyages of 1954-55 click here... But come back and check out the links from hotspots in the chart images below to view the actual logbook pages.

This is a photograph of some members of the Mendes family (immediate right). Henrique Mendes, who bought the schooner and changed its name to the "Ernestina" after his daughter, is sitting in the center with his wife, Louise. His son, Arnaldo, is on the left, while Jose, another son, stands (right).

The other scene is dockside in Providence as the ship came in from the Cape Verde Islands with mail and greetings from family across the sea....

Captain Ricardo Lima Barros (photo left) was born in Praia, Santiago, Cape Verde Islands on October 23, 1914. He began his seafaring career aboard the training vessel Nosassa Senhora Areias which was commanded by a Portuguese captain. He used his training in the African country of Senegal where he ran tugboats in Dakar in 1952.

In 1954, he made his first passage as commander of the Schooner Ernestina. The ship departed Porto Grande in the city of Mindelo on Sao Vicente Island in Cape Verde on July 6, 1954 and arrived in Providence, RI at the Colonial Line Dock on August 13, 1954. This was a 38-day voyage with 16 crew and three passengers aboard. Upon arriving to the US, he married his wife, Dominga "Minnie" Barros.

Captain Barros returned to Cape Verde in command of the Schooner Ernestina on a second voyage leaving Providence, RI November 9, 1954 and arrived in Mindelo, Cape Verde December 14, 1954. This voyage was 34 days in length with 16 crew and four passengers aboard.

In 1955, he emigrated from Cape Verde to the United States by plane. Once here, he and Minnie settled in Taunton, MA where he worked at New England Brass. Together they had five children.

In 1959, Ricardo's brother, Jeronimo, joined him in the US and together they received seaman's papers from the US Coast Guard and began working for Exxon. Ricardo's career with Exxon lasted from 1962 through 1973.

Ricardo's final trip home to Cape Verde was in 1977. He returned to the islands to visit his mother. Unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack during the trip and died on March 6, 1977 at the age of 62.

z You can click on hot spots in the chart images below to read see scanned images of logbook pages, just move the pointer along the track of the ship on each chart and click to open the half dozen linked images. z


The chart to the right shows the course taken by the Schooner"Ernestina" on a voyage from the Cape Verde Islands to Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

Ricardo Lima Barros sailed as 'Commander' with Arnaldo Mendes recording the voyage in a logbook as 'Piloto'

The schooner left the island of St. Vincent (Sao Vicente) on July 6, 1954 and arrived in Providence on August 13, 1954. This voyage lasted 38 days!

This voyage track is plotted on a Pilot Chart of the North Atlantic for the month of July. Wind roses and current vectors are shown that help mariners determine the best routes to travel that will take advantage of wind and current.

Move the cursor along the track and click to follow links to logbook page images....

Pilot Chart July

The chart to the right tracks two voyages made by the Schooner "Ernestina" from Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. to the Cape Verde Islands on a November Pilot Chart.

The course highlighted in pink represents the November 9 to December 14, 1954 trip from Providence to the island of St. Vincent (Sao Vicente). The voyage lasted 34 days! Once again Ricardo Barros served as Commander.

The course highlighted in yellow represents the voyage from November 3 to December 4, 1955 from Providence to the island of St. Vincent (Sao Vicente). The trip lasted 31 days! On this voyage Arnaldo is listed as Commander and Ricardo Barros is not aboard.

Move the cursor along the track and click to follow links to logbook page images....

Pilot Chart November
  Arnaldo Jose Mendes sailed aboard the ship as navigator, pilot and later captain from 1950 through 1956 for six trans-Atlantics and several intervals when Ernestina served as an inter-island transport in Cape Verde. After marrying Maria De Montserrat in 1956, he moved to Scituate, Massachusetts where he worked as a machine operator for Plymouth Rubber Company in Canton for over 25 years. He passed away in January 1998 at the age of 76.
~This project developed by Gil Pires thanks to a grant from the Island Foundation~

Copyright 2001
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719