Cap­tain Bob Bartlett’s old schooner get­ting new mast

New­found­land con­nec­tion to be com­mem­o­rated in step­ping cer­e­mony

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Sub­mit­ted photo

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.

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