Captain Bob Bartlett’s old schooner getting new mast
Newfoundland connection to be commemorated in stepping ceremony
The waterfront in New Bedford, Massachusetts was bustling with anticipation Friday, Aug. 3.
A crowd of Schooner Ernestina supporters gathered near the docked historic vessel, awaiting the arrival of a new mast for the ship, which has close, historic ties to Brigus, Conception Bay North and has been unable to sail since 2005 due to deterioration.
Members of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association (SEMA) raised the money to purchase the new mast.
Originally built as a Grand Banks fishing schooner in 1894, the Effie M. Morrissey — as she was originally called, and is still best known to Newfoundlanders — quickly earned a reputation as a fast and dependable fishing vessel.
In 1926 Captain Robert A. (Bob) Bartlett of Brigus, who built his reputation as an intrepid ice captain by taking Robert Peary on his daring dash for the North Pole in 1909, purchased the Effie M. Morrissey. Bartlett wanted to continue with his northern expeditions, and needed a strong and trusty vessel for those ventures.
SEEN BETTER DAYS — This close-up view shows the rot that has deteriorated the old mast on the 118-year-old Ernestina, rendering her unfit for sailing since 2005. Originally known as the Effie M. Morrissey, the ship was made famous by Captain Bob Bartlett of Brigus, Conception Bay, who used her in his expeditions to the far north.