1980, a plea went out from Operation Sail and South
Street Seaport founder, Frank Braynard and Hudson River
Sloop Clearwater founder/folksinger Pete Seeger:
As managing director of Operation Sail and as
one of the founders of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater,
we have joined in the National Maritime Historical
Societys campaign to honor this gift (Schooner
Ernestina) and see the Ernestina/Morrissey preserved
as a superb monument to a proud seafaring tradition.
The National Society proposes that the
Ernestina/Morrissey be used in marine science and
sail training programs reaching particularly the Cape
Verdean communities to whom this vessel means so
much, and who have worked so hard to save her for
posterity. The cooperation of diverse citizen groups
in this effort has been inspiring.
We appeal to all who value the brotherhood of
the sea and the proud heritage of the
Ernestina/Morrissey to join in support with
contributions in kind or funds to bring her to a new
and most productive life. Will you join in this
The largest single contribution to the work on the Ernestina
came from the Cape Verdean government. Materials and
services furnished by agencies total well over $300,000
dollars. Julius Britto said, "We would never be able
to pay for that kind of workmanship today in the United
States since much of the hardwood used on the Ernestina
has been handcrafted."
"Friends of the Ernestina raised between
$30,000 and $60,000 for the work," Britto said.
"The work has been under way for more than two
years. Delays included such problems as obtaining
hardwood from Guinea-Bissau, importing nails and paint,
and acetylene in bottles for cutting torches."