May 2011

Ernestina in New Bedford Harbor
                                                                                                                      photo by Roland Morin

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association

May 3, 2011




You will find a lot of important news in this update.  And don't forget the volunteer day Saturday.  I ordered the paint today!  As always, check the website for more news.

Fair Winds,

Mary Anne


SEMA Annual Report Released   annual report cover 2010



You can download it here:


2010 SEMA Annual Report   

Rig Inspection News 

Foremast head, spring 2011
You can see the top of the formast is pulled forward by the jib stay.



From Jeff Carter's report to the Commission:

"Unfortunately during (inspection) a severe amount of rot was found at the top of the foremast. This rot extends approximately 4 feet down from the top of the mast and the early prognosis is that the mast will need to be completely replaced.  Also during this work the contractor  has identified rot on the mainmast as well but to a lesser degree and at this point it seems to be repairable.  At the time of this update DCR has not identified its course of action in addressing this concern but it is almost certain that these masts will have to be removed from the ship to eliminate any safety hazards.  All mast and rigging work as it relates to the current contract has been indefinitely put on hold." 

Ernestina Commission Archives

 U Mass Dartmouth   

The Commission has voted to follow the recommendations of State Archivist Sean Fisher and has selected the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Department of Archives and Special Collections as repository of the Commission's not-state-created records, photographs and small objects.


National  Park Volunteer Day


spars on dock 2011
gaffs & booms to oil 


The New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park is sponsoring a Volunteer Day for its park partners on May 7th.  There are three projects scheduled for Ernestina that day.  1) oil the gaffs, booms and topmasts on the dock,  2) scrape and paint the dories and 3) remove and store contents of the ship in preparation for the haul out.  If you plan to volunteer please CONTACT US so we can prepare enough materials for everyone to participate.  After the morning's work the NPS is hosting a cookout.  Please let Emily know so she can order enough t-shirts and food.

To sign up, stop by the National Park Visitor Center located at 33 William Street, New Bedford, MA 02740 or call Emily Prigot at (508) 996-4095 extension 6105 - -


On May 7 please report to the Visitor's Center on William Street to sign in before you report to the ship.





Sailors' Series Features

Cape Verdean Packets


Arrival in Newport 1982
Ernestina arriving off Newport, RI in 1982

Join us at the Whaling Museum's last Sailors' Series lecture on Tuesday,  May 24, 2011


From the latter part of the 19th century to 1970, sailing ships owned by Cape Verdeans plied the waters between Cape Verde (Brava and Fogo) and New Bedford/Providence almost annually, carrying people and cargo back and forth.  The Schooner Ernestina/ex-Effie M. Morrissey was one of these last ships.  The historic schooner sailed in a 41-day voyage in the summer of 1982, as a gift from newly-independent Cape Verde to the people of the United States, and is berthed in New Bedford.  Laura Pires-Hester and Michael K. H. Platzer worked closely together in the national campaign led by Friends of Ernestina/Morrissey to return and repatriate the historic Schooner, launched originally in Essex MA in 1894.  Dr. Pires-Hester is an anthropologist and was most recently Vice President of the New York Theological Seminary.  She has a B.A. from Smith College, M.S.W. from Columbia University School of Social Work, and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University.  Dr. Platzer worked for many years for the United Nations and was its first Program Officer for Cape Verde.  Now living in Vienna, co-author with Michael Cohn of Black Men of the Sea (1978), and a sailor himself, he is currently active in international human rights and criminal justice issues.  He received his B.A., M.A., and J.D. degrees from Cornell University.  He and Pires-Hester co-authored Ernestina/Effie M. Morrissey Commemorative Edition (1982). They will discuss the "Cape Verdean/Brava Packet Trade", and also Schooner Ernestina as a living representative of that trade.  Members of the 1982 transatlantic voyage will also be present, including Stefan Platzer, whose slides of the voyage will be shown.

Sailor Series lectures are held at 7:30 pm in the Cook Memorial Theater.  A reception will be held prior to each lecture beginning at 6:30 pm.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for Whaling Museum and SEMA Members)  You can call 508-997-0046 to reserve your tickets.




Officers Elected


Mary Anne McQuillan


Mary Anne McQuillan

Bob Hildreth
Vice President: Bob Hildreth


Polly Zajac
Secretary: Polly Zajac


Julius Brittp
Treasurer: Julius Britto 

Landmark Photo Contest



Do you have a GREAT photo of Ernestina?  Enter it in the National Historic Landmarks 2011 Photo Contest.  The contest name, "Imaging Our National Heritage" encourages people to use their cameras to capture the meaning of the National Historic Landmark in a photo. DETAILS HERE 


Ernestina was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. 



Hello Cabo Verde Expo -  

Open Ship


The Programming Committee of the Schooner Ernestina Commission will be hosting an Open Ship to tell Ernestina's story during the Hello Cabo Verde Expo.  If you can volunteer 12:00 - 4:00 pm Saturday, May 28 and/or Sunday, May 29 please CONTACT US.

Issue 33

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with the purpose of raising funds to provide for the maintenance, equipment, manning, programming and operation of the Schooner Ernestina ex Effie M. Morrissey  as a sail training vessel, school ship, and educational enterprise. 














SEMA Directors:


Mary Anne McQuillan

Vice President:

Julius Britto


Robert Hildreth


John Buddy Andrade

Captain Willi Bank riJohn BullardM

Christopher Davis,  esq

Marc Pires

Polly Zajac


Polly Zajac

Polly Zajac

 Polly ZajajP


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Schooner Ernestina Commission Meeting

The next Schooner Ernestina Commission meeting has been scheduled for Friday, June 3 at 1:00 pm at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitors' Center. William St. New Bedford.  The agenda hasn't been posted yet but you can access the minutes of previous Commission meetings.  Follow the link and scroll down the chronological list to the Schooner Ernestina Commission entries.

 AGENDA  or  
Mary Anne McQuillan, President
Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc
 P.O. Box 2995
New Bedford, MA 02741