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"Set the Mainsail"

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Discouraged? Not Me!
It is easy to get discouraged about losing Paul and Annie, but think about what the boat has been thru, and these are jut a few of the stories.

I was on board in 2002 when the keel dropped down in LI Sound - we ran pumps and with help from another Coast Guard pump, we got back to Greenport and secured the boat. We got the keel refastened and were back sailing after a month of hard work refastening things. Not easy.

When Ernestina left Cape Verde for the US in 1976, it was dismasted. They towed it back, built new masts and did a lot more work on the boat,, and sailed to the US in 1982 were it was given to this country. Not easy. Click on "read more" in the next line below.

Effie Morrissey caught on fire in NY in 1947, and she was sunk putting out the fire. It was re-floated, changed hands, towed to New Bedford for repairs. She sailed to Cape Verde as Ernestina in 1948.. Not easy.

Effie was stopped by a German sub in WW2. Bob Bartlett, masquerading as a Newfoundland fisherman, offered the Germans some fresh fish. They gladly accepted and left. The Morrissey then could continue with our war effort, instead of being sunk. She helped chart the waters around Greenland, and brought supplies to the airbase there.

In 1926, in Northern Greenland, the “old boat“, Effie M. Morrissey, went hard aground on a ledge during a spring high tide. As the tide dropped, it almost rolled and sunk, but it didn’t. They could walk around the boat. When the tide came back up, it didn’t come up as high, and it wouldn’t come up that high again for another two weeks, if she could stand the pounding that long. No one thought it would. They moved a lot of gear ashore to lighten the boat and in case she sunk or they couldn’t get her off. They set anchors and tried to pull themselves off - but it didn’t work. The tide came up again, but not as high. Captain Bob said to “set the mainsail“. The bone tired men did. Then a wind came up, it looked like it would take the mast out of the boat. It didn’t, and the boat leaned over, lifting the keel, and she sailed off the rocks.
They were leaking so bad the men had to hand pump for days. The Captain would help out by throwing a bucket of ice water on them when they passed out. Part of the bottom of the keel (false keel) was at right angles to the boat, but they got it fixed (there are no boatyards up there), stopped most of the leaking, and carried on with their mission.

SEMA has just said “set the mainsail”. They have formed a non-profit to raise funds and get the rest of the boat fixed. We have to set the rest of the sails and sail off and fix things, but the process has started. We have a free hand for raising money to fix the boat and doing what we need to do. I won’t be easy, but DCR is happy and will work with us. The boat has a solid forward half - as least as good as new. If we fix the aft section, we will be good for another 50 years -- at least. We can then concentrate on the mission of the boat, education.

Don't forget about the chance of getting dowsed with a bucket of ice water to help you out - if you should be helping with this effort, - but you are asleep.