Docked across from you (when not at sea as a sail training and education vessel), Ernestina is one of the oldest wooden sailing vessels afloat. The ship is also one of the last surviving Gloucester fishing schooners, one of only two remaining vessels that explored the Arctic under sail, and the last sailing ship that carried immigrants across the Atlantic to this country.
Built in 1894 as Effie M. Morrissey, the schooner first fished on the Grand Banks for cod, mackerel, and haddock. From 1926 to 1946 the vessel explored the Arctic for museums, zoos, and scientific groups.
In 1948 Cape Verdean native Henrique Mendes refitted and renamed the schooner Ernestina and ran supplies and passengers regularly between the Cape Verde Islands and the U.S. In 1982 the newly independent nation of Cape Verde presented Ernestina to the people of the United States in recognition of the longstanding ties between the two countries.
All I want is the strength to go in my little schooner, for that is all I have and when she stops so do I.
Captain Bob Bartlett, quoted in The New York Times, June 20, 1938
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