1957 Ernestina was hauled and major repairs were
undertaken. Twenty-eight carpenters labored nearly a
month, ripping out and replacing rotten planking below
the waterline under the supervision of Adriano Britu.
Henrique Mendes complained that it cost him $7,000 but
assured everyone, "she is in good shape now!"
Capt. Raimundo Nonauto Brito brought the ship over to the U.S. in 1957 with four passengers in 27 days arriving in the evening September 3rd in Providence. Aboard were four passengers including Ludegero Mendes Rose, 67, of West Wareham; Domingas Antunes, David Silva and Marcelino De Andrade.
On October 30, 1957 Capt. Brito returned to Cape Verde with one passenger, Mrs. Catarina Doloma Cruz, 82, of Alameda, CA, who insisted on going back on "Henriques boat." Also aboard as crew was Ben Rose, who previously had sailed his own schooner, the Constance, from Providence to Dakar.
The Belgian Line was now providing seven-day service between New England and Cape Verde, which made finding cargo and willing passengers more difficult. The Ernestina arrived in St. Vincent safely on December 9, 1957 after a 37-day passage.