May 2011

Ernestina in New Bedford Harbor
                                                                                                                      photo by Roland Morin

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association

May 15, 2011




It has been a busy time for Ernestina and her caretakers and friends!  DCR has been arranging for the masts to be pulled from the ship for further evaluation and (hopefully) repair.  The National Park "Lend a Hand" day accomplished a lot for Ernestina.  And the next day volunteers staffed a table at the Hello Cabo Verde Expo Kick-Off.

Next week don't miss the Whaling Museum Sailors' Series (details below) and volunteer to help at the Expo May 27-29.


Fair Winds,

Mary Anne


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.





National  Park Volunteer Day


oiled spars
gaffs & booms are oiled 


Nearly forty volunteers chose Ernestina for their project during the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Volunteer Day on May 7, 2011. There were three projects: clean and prep the ship for June's haul-out, scrape and paint the dories and scrape and oil the spars on the dock. The usual crew was joined by a group of volunteers and community folks organized by Rich Drolet and MarDee Xifaras.  With Annie McDowell's guidance, this group did yeoman's work removing and storing the contents of the ship in preparation for the haul-out and washing down the aft cabin and fish hold.  THANK YOU!  Up on the pier two crews worked on the dories and the spars.  The before and after photos are AMAZING and will be up on the website soon.  Thanks to Manny Silva of DCR for keeping everything rolling.  There was always a question to answer or something else to get.  Manny was busy all morning!  At 12:30 everyone headed up William St. for a cook-out lunch provided for all the volunteers at the Visitor's Center.  Volunteers Katie DePrato and Jim Bean were featured in  South Coast Today  ARTICLE HERE 


Hello Cabo Verde Expo

 Hello CV

The Programming Committee of the Schooner Ernestina Commission needs volunteers to tell Ernestina's story during the Hello Cabo Verde Expo.  Ernestina will be featured in a booth at the 3-day event at New Bedford State Pier Ferry Terminal and during a scheduled "Open Ship". The Expo is scheduled for Friday May 27 through Sunday May 29.  Please contact Barbara Monteiro Burgo to volunteer.


Hello Cabo Verde Expo Kick-Off

 Barbara at Hello CV


 SEMA was invited to have an informational table at the kick-off held on May 8.  Volunteers organized by Barbara Burgo heard many stories of Ernestina and shared the ship's story that evening.  Here's a link to a VIDEO of highlights of the event.


Issue 34

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 BankM

Christopher Davis,  esq

Marc Pires

Polly Zajac


Polly Zajac

Polly Zajac

 Polly ZajajP


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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   Deadline July 31.


Ernestina was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. 



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