Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Ernestina Logbook Page

Gloucester Schooner Race

August 31, 2003

The Gloucester Schooner race is an annual event, where schooners come together from across the east for a friendly race and series of events, including a parade of boats, fireworks, bands, and food.  This festival celebrates the many fishing schooners that have sailed out of this historic port.  The schooner’s race for the mayor’s Esperanto Cup, a trophy from the first International Fishermen's Races sailed in 1920.  This year, our class consisted of American Eagle, Harvey Gamage, Spirit of Massachusettes. Liberty Clipper, Lettie G. Howard, and the Ernestina.

After a night filled reuniting with schooner folk and enjoying the festivities in Gloucester, we awoke to a clear morning for race day.  By 0900 we had boarded everyone, and set off from the dock with a total of 85 people.

We set the fore and the jumbo and joined the parade of boats passing the fisherman statue on the way out of the Harbor.  We raised the rest of our sails and headed for the starting line just off of Eastern Point.  The starting gun sounded with a bit of confusion at 1110 and we crossed the line late along with much of our fleet.

The race course was a two mark course with a windward and a downwind leg.  With a decent 10 knot breeze, we set out on the windward mark on a port tack.  We held this tack and passed the Lettie and the Gamage.  By 1200 the wind had begun to die and by the time we tacked along the lay line towards the mark, the wind was light and variable.  With the flooding current none of the boats were actually making way, and hoping for a lift, we fell off to increase our speed.

The hoped for lift materialized and as the wind increased, we rounded the mark following the American Eagle and the Liberty Clipper.  Both the other vessels fell off onto a broad reach.  Hoping to catch them we gybed and headed directly down wind towards the mark, our huge mainsail driving the Ernestina.  Behind us the rest of our class rounded the weather mark and the Lettie G. Howard raised a spinnaker.  We rounded the last mark and headed towards the finish line with a good breeze, crossing the line in third place behind the American Eagle and the Liberty Clipper.  With a great race behind us we said a big thank you to the galley and the singers onboard and returned to the dock.

Thank you to Gloucester for hosting the race and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

Program Coordinator: Gretchen Stuppy
Captain: Sophie Morse

We would like to thank Lotus and IBM for donation of software, hardware and funding to enable regular electronic updates from the ship.

NOAA Chart is provided courtesy of Maptech using Cruising Navigator 4.3 and grabbing the image using Grabit Pro 6.02.

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Copyright 1997-2003
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719

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