Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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1894 Launched from James & Tarr Yard, Essex, Mass. as Effie M. Morrissey for J.F. Wonson.
1894a The Morrissey Family operates ship
1905 New owners sail the Morrissey out of Digby, Nova Scotia.
1912 Record run from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, at times reaching a speed of 16 knots.
1914 Morrissey sold to Harold Bartlett of Brigus, Newfoundland.
1926 Sails out of New York on her first Arctic exploration trip sponsored by George Palmer Putnam, Publisher.
1931 Smithsonian Institute sponsors Morrissey voyage to Greenland.
1940 Sails within 600 miles of North Pole.
1942 World War II, Arctic supply and survey ship for U.S. Navy (1942-1945).
1946 Morrissey sold to the Jackson brothers who plan to fit her out and sail to Tahiti to open inter-island trade.
1947   Fire in Flushing, NY nearly ends the Morrissey's long career.
1948 Raised and bought by Henrique Mendes of Cape Verde Islands. Name changed to Ernestina.
1949 Ernestina begins life as a transAtlantic packet, carrying passengers and goods between Cape Verde and U.S.
1950 Ernestina's second trip to the U.S. with eleven passengers including six women and three children and fourteen crewmembers.
1951-1952 Dismasted in heavy seas sailing between Fogo and Santiago while taking two American girls to Dakar for visas. The falling spar nearly killed Henrique.
1953 Ernestina sailed without engine or radio in 1953. For fifteen days they were becalmed within one hundred miles of Nantucket Island until Hurricane Edith came down on them.
1954 Ricardo Lima Barros was master and navigator for the 1954 voyages.
1955 Henrique Mendes credited the radio with giving warning of Hurricane "Connie."
1956 The 1956 voyage from Cape Verde to Providence was the last one for Arnaldo Mendes.
1957 Ernestina was hauled and major repairs were undertaken. Twenty-eight carpenters labored nearly a month.
1958 Besides the pen-crated chickens allowed to roam on deck, the ship carried a two-and-a half ton truck lashed on deck, a bell for the new St. Lawrence’s Church in Praia.
1959-1963  Ernestina in Cape Verde. Capt. Evora passed along the news of the sinking and loss of another Cape Verdean packet, the Madalan.
1964-1965 Last transAtlantic voyage as Cape Verde packet with Alexander Fortes aboard as captain.
1965-1970 Ernestina was kept busy carrying cargo and passengers between Mindelo, Fogo, Brava and Praia with frequent visits to Sol, Sao Nicolau, and Santo Antao. Henrique Mendes passes away in 1970 at the age of 90.
1972-1975  Bartlett Exploration Association of Philadelphia made several offers to buy the ship from Alberto Lopes in 1972, 1975 and 1976.
1976 Ernestina on route to bicentennial, is dismasted and towed back to Cape Verde.
1977 Laura Pires and Michael Platzer organize efforts to raise funds to restore the ship. Republic of Cape Verde begins rebuild. UN Ambassador Andrew Young is involved.
1978 NEH grant for interpretive display is received through NMHS. Brooklyn fund raiser with Pete Seeger. LA Dodgers Davy Lopes is friend of Ernestina. Schooner Ernestina Commission established thanks to legislation sponsored by Rep. Tom Lopes and Senator George Rogers. Franz Meijer hired as shipwright in Mindelo.
1979 New Bedford comes in behind repatriation effort
1980 Frank Braynard and Pete Seeger call for donations
1982 People of Cape Verde present the Ernestina to the people of the U.S.
1983 Dan Moreland comes aboard as Captain and Executive Director. Return from Gloucester to New Bedford. Tour to Boston and New York Harbor.
1984-1985 Restoration with the help of WHALE
1986 The Ernestina begins her fourth career as a sailing school ship, living history museum, and cultural ambassador. Offices move to 30 Union Street in New Bedford.
1987 NTHP Preservation Award and U.S. Coast Guard certificate as an SSV. History Under Sail Campaign announced by Gov. Dukakis.
1988 Sail back to Brigus, Newfoundland
1989 New Programs: Youth Under Sail, Minority Maritime Apprenticeship, and Community Organizations Under Sail.
1990 Another voyage to Brigus. Office shuts doors after critical state audit. Joe Cardozo comes aboard as Executive Director.  National Historic Landmark Status gained. Offices later reopen in trailer on New Bedford State Pier.
1991 The Perfect Storm
Captains: Doug Nemeth and Gregg Swanzey. Program Coordinator: Esther Kennedy
1992 Ernestina delivered north from Miami, FL with Norman Gomes aboard as captain.
Operations are taken over by the Ernestina Morrissey Historical Association (EMHA). Pam Weurth and Clem Daley serve as Executive Directors. Captain: Dutch Shultis.
1993 The ship does not operate but receives significant hull work at Kelleys Shipyard in Fairhaven, MA.
1994 Gregg Swanzey comes aboard as Executive Director. New legislation, major refitting, passenger vessel certification and relaunch into second century. Log of a Record Run first published. Program Coordinators Tom Goux and  Laurie Belisle.
1995 First Business and Spending Plan written, an annual requirement of the Legislature. Annual audits brought up to date. Captain: Steve Briggs. Program Coordinator: Tora Johnson.
1996 Establishment of the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park, Ernestina is named. First Massachusetts Environmental Trust grant for interpretive display and curriculum guide.  SEA Connections Institute for teachers thanks to a grant from the Department of Education. Captain: Jeff Stone. Program Coordinators: Tora Johnson, Caitlin Schwarzman and Aaren Freeman
1997   Massachusetts Interactive Media Council (MIMC) Award for our website, topmasts go aloft thanks to ISTEA grant, dedicated operational funds @$125,000 from State Budget for the first time. Polly Zajac comes on staff to develop shore-based programming. Captain: Jeff Stone. Program Coordinators: Kristin Price and Otto Loggers. 
1998 Offices moved out of the trailer on State Pier and into the F.A. Sowle Building at the corner of Water and Elm Streets, Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEAL) forms. Captains: Jeff Stone and Amanda Madeira. Program Coordinators: Andrea Parrish and Chris Newlan.
1999 Ernestina online from at sea using a wireless cellular connection. Internship program established thanks to the Island Foundation. Captains: Amanda Madeira and Willi Bank. Program Coordinators: Andrea Parrish and Chris Newlan.
2000 TallShips 2000, OpSail 2000 and Ships to Save the Waters Conference 2000 in Jersey City, NJ. Sail from the Chesapeake to Nova Scotia. Captains: Amanda Madeira, Willi Bank and Sophie Morse. Program Coordinators: Crista Mellican and Inette Rex.
2001 Festa da Ernestina! New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus established. Ships to Save the Waters Conference hosted by Ernestina staff. Captains: Amanda Madeira, Willi Bank, Sophie Morse and Doug Nemeth. Program Coordinators: Crista Mellican and Inette Rex.
2002 Ship takes on water in Long Island Sound calling for extensive keel refastening. A tightening economy curtails operations at the close of the year. Captains: Amanda Madeira, Willi Bank and Sophie Morse. Program Coordinators: Crista Mellican, Steve Kirk,  MaryHelen Gunn and Inette Rex.
2003  A successful fund raising campaign rejuvenates the sailing season and a full season of education continues after a winter of significant shipyard work on the forward frames at the keel. The entire rig is pulled for inspection. Captains: Amanda Madeira, Sophie Morse, Willi Bank, Doug Nemeth. Program Coordinators: Rhonda Moniz, Kristen Sharpless, Gretchen Stuppy

Copyright 1997-2004
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719