Ernestina-Morrissey: State Ship of Massachusetts

Here is the saga of the Gloucester schooner Effie M. Morrissey, later the Ernestina, and now the Ernestina-Morrissey. It is a story of wide-ranging maritime adventures, lived by a remarkable cast of captains, crews and voyagers. Sailing to the gale-swept Grand Banks for cod in the 1890s … voyaging to the Arctic every year for almost two decades on scientific expeditions … serving under both the U.S. Army and Navy in the Arctic during World War II … crossing the Atlantic a dozen times as a packet ship, linking Cape Verdean-Americans in New England with family members on their home islands … back in America under sail out of New Bedford, educating boatloads of school children on the wonders if their ocean environment.

Behind it all, the ship’s indomitable spirit, sensed b all who have sailed her: Gloucester fishing captains Bill and Clayton Morrissey, Arctic navigator Bob Bartlett, Henrique Mendes on Cape Verde, round-the-world captain Dan Moreland. And by those whose lives she has touched: dory-trawling fishermen on the Grand Banks, hardy field scientists, Inuit hunters, GIs at remote weather stations, Atlantic islanders, volunteers who have sacrificed much for love of this ship.

The book tells of how the Ernestina-Morrissey has repeatedly been written off as doomed, only to somehow find new life. The happy ending is that this phoenix ship is now undergoing restoration – to spread her white wings over the ocean once again!

Lauren Daley review in New Bedford Standard Times, July 4, 2015: “It stands as a great maritime history … a wonderfully readable tone and voice, with a nice selection of historic photos”

296 pages of text, plus 20 pages of illustrations

In hardcover print: $28.00 ISBN 978-0-09740778-4-0 Available from the WoodenBoat Store, Amazon and booksellers worldwide.

e-book: $4.50 ISBN 978-0-9740778-9-5 Available from Amazon for Kindle, and in epub for other e-book readers

For updates on the restoration of the Ernestina-Morrissey, visit the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association website  (SEMA)

Visit the Phoenix of the Seas page on Facebook Facebook

WoodenBoat review

From review by John Bullard in Nov.-Dec. 2015 issue of WoodenBoat Magazine:

“For anyone interested in important sailing ships and the people who sailed them, Phoenix of the Seas will be a valuable addition to your library.”

“This sturdy schooner has stories worth telling – and Chester Brigham engagingly and memorably tells them.”

“It was an easy read, because Brigham knows how to tell stories. They come alive. You feel the cold of the ice. You hear Capt. Bob Bartlett barking the orders.”

“This is a great compendium of first-rate sea stories. The characters in it are dynamic and unforgettable. But ultimately they all take a back seat to the schooner herself. She captured their hearts with her toughness, her resilience, her performance, her beauty …. And unless you have no heart at all, she will capture yours.”

Capt. Bob Bartlett with Inuit hunters

To get the flavor of Captain Bob Bartlett’s expeditions to the Arctic in the Effie M. Morrissey, read an excerpt from Phoenix of the Seas here

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