The schooner

The schooner

Ernestina’s longevity is due to the fact that she has been used and worked hard all her life.

As, indeed, she works today, carrying a vital message of oceanic daring and of service to the farflung Atlantic communities she fished for and traded to.

Ernestina is one of five surviving Gloucester schooners we look at in this issue of Sea History,

and I believe anyone with a trace of salt water in his or her veins will have to agree that each of these ships is needed.

We bespeak your interest for two of them particularly.

The first, the schooner Adventure, returned to Gloucester last summer to begin a new career honoring

the proud traditions of that historic fishing port on Cape Ann. Gloucester needs her.

The old ways are passing, leav ing a once-rich culture threatened, depressed, impoverished.

Even the old Tarr & Wonson ‘s Paint Manufactory, purveyer of good red copper bottom pai nt to the world,

no longer stands open at the harbor mouth as recounted on page 11.

What could do more to affirm Gloucester’s true spirit than commissioning the Adventure to sail as Joe Garland,

historian of the Gloucesterman, urges in his report on page 16?

What single act could do more to help the young people, particularly, to find their way in what is for them a troubled and troubling time?

And for the fine-lined Lettie G. Howard, the first sailing ship acquired by South Street Seaport Museum,

we are here to affirm that in the wealthy city of New York there are people who need the challenge of sailing such a ship.

Peopl e need to learn how men launched little dories from her decks to fish the bitter sea for cod.

The South Street Seaport Museum’s pl an to rebuild the Howard-and that is what she needs, complete rebuilding-is wonderfully inspiring:

It is simply to haul the schooner out and set up a shipyard to renew her tired frame, ri ght in the middle of the city street!

This will nourish the imaginations of young people of the city.

And it would carry lessons of deep value to the burghers of nearby Wall Street and the tourist crowds that surge through the wate rfront today,

heightening their awareness of the seafaring challenge whose whole spirit is embodied in that delicate ly shaped but tough little ship.

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