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In 1999 was our first full year at 89 North Water Street. The ship went online with a cellular local area network available using an air card and laptop thanks to IBM and Lotus. The calendar pages began to include links to daily pages. To view the activities of the ship you can go to the calendar pages on our website.

Dedicated funding  in the state budget for operations rose to a $225,000 level thanks to the efforts of Senator Mark Montigny, Representative Tony Cabral and the rest of the local delegation.

Highlights of the year:

  • 5,746 school children, 330 teachers served

  • New administrative/museum space at 89 N. Water St.

  • New Bedford Harbor Master Plan completed

  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Master Plan begins

  • Covered 4000 miles with 165 days underway

On February 6, 1999 a gala was held in the Lagoda Room of the New Bedford Whaling Museum to celebrate the 105th year of Ernestina.

The ship saw a very busy season with many great partnerships developing and strengthening including an annual course offering with UMASS Boston that explored the coastal environment.

A celebration of a new home took place on September 29th, 2003.

Over 200 people gathered to help Schooner Ernestina "drop anchor" at the corner of Elm and Bethel Streets in New Bedfordís historic district. Was the venerable old vessel aground on the other side of Route 18? They had assembled not to witness a great maritime disaster, but to celebrate the success of the Ernestinaís educational programs and to mark the opening of a new Schooner Ernestina Commission Office and Museum. Music, refreshments, and history were all part of the scene on September 29 during an open house in the newly renovated building .

Originally built in 1884 for F.A. Sowle Steam Woodworking Company, the building was, until recently, operated as Skipís Marine until acquired by Doug and Claudia Mills. It is located at the gateway to the cityís National Whaling Historical Park. A variety of artifacts related to the historic ship were displayed in the new quarters. The collection on display included portraits of Effie M. Morrissey and Ernestina Mendes R a n d a l l , daughters of the original captain and the first Cape Verdean captain, a leather rifle case from the Bartlett Arctic era, an original Robert Duff painting of Ernestina and a model of the schooner as she appeared in the 1930ís. A contemporary portrait of Captain Henrique Mendes was on display as well. Drawings of the Ernestina by children from St. Josephís and East Fairhaven Elementary Schools were also on display in the front lobby.

At 4:30pm, a festive parade stepped off from the office and museum and made its way to Tonnessen Park on State Pier where the Ernestina is docked. The parade featured Vinnie Lovegrove and the Miracle Fish Puppet Theater, the Ernestina Chanteymen and Bexa. Late afternoon traffic on Route 18 slowed noticeably as the procession passed over highway on the pedestrian overpass. Once onboard Schooner Ernestina, the revelers were addressed by King Neptune himself. His highness was attended by an assortment of costumed nymphs and denizens of the deep, who, behind their disguises, looked suspiciously like Schooner Ernestinaís professional crew members. Revelry on deck was brief and the parade made its way back to the office for the Official Grand Opening Ceremony.

Gregg Swanzey, Ernestinaís Executive Director, presided over the ribboncutting. The Reverend Mr. Richard Mendes, grandson of Ernestina owner-captain Henrique Mendes, offered a blessing. Mr. Swanzey then acknowledged the work of individuals whose investment of time, talent and treasure have nurtured the Ernestina project over the decades. The crowd of 200 included many who have been directly involved in the preservation and support of the schooner going back to the mid-1970ís.

Speakers included Massachusetts Department of Environmental Affairs Commissioner Peter Webber, Representative Antonio Cabral, James Marshall, aide to Senator Mark Montigny, Elsie Souza speaking on behalf of Congressman Barney Frank and Steve Sharek, New Bedford City Councilor-at-Large, bringing the regards and sentiments of Mayor Frederick M. Kalisz, Jr. and the New Bedford City Council. Carl Cruz, a former Ernestina Commissioner, made special mention of the efforts of Joseph Cardozo and Joli Gonsalves.

Music for the festivities was provided throughout the evening by guitarist Johnny Pena and "Bexa," a Cape Verdean folkloric ensemble. A buffet featuring Cape Verdean dishes followed the ribbon-cutting ceremony A large cake, decorated with the Schooner Ernestina logo, was donated for the event by Homlyke Bakery.

Capt. Sophie Morse (left) and Mate Erica Sachs (right)
guide the topmast down from aloft the mainmast at 85' up in Nov 1999.

Administrative Staff
  Tom Goux, Public Program Director
 Amanda Madeira, Captain/Operations Director
 Annie McDowell, Accountant
 Andrea Parrish, Education Director
 Gregg Swanzey, Executive Director

Program Staff
 Elisabete Baker,
Deckhand
 Monika Bang-Campbell, Relief Steward
 William Bank, Captain
 Ken Cabral, Relief Steward
 Scott Cann, AB Certificate
 Waltraud Coli, Anthropologist
 Missy DeValles, Deckhand
 Seth Goodwin, AB Certificate
 Margaret Graustein, AB Certificate
 Heidi Herendeen, Mate
 Carl Herzog, Mate
 Julie Kleinhans, Mate
 Douglas Miller, Deckhand
 Sophie Morse, Chief Mate
 Chris Newlan, Program Coordinator
 J.C. Parker, Mate/Engineer
 Erica Sachs, Mate
 R. Gordon Sims, Mate
 Fred Sterner, Mate
 Stephen Swift, Engineer
 Zdravka Tzankova, Deckhand
 Mary Walsh, Educator
 Laurie Weitzen, Steward
 Polly Zajac, Educator

Interns
 Calvin Arterberry
 Paul Berger
 Jade Britto
 Edison DaCosta
 Jeanne MacNeil
 Nicole Williams

For more stories please follow the link to the newsletter from the outreach page...

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