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Arctic Schooners

mate's picture

Was looking thru some photos and found a photo of Bowdoin and Ernestina together. We were out on Stellwagan bank around 5 years ago and saw each other.
We got together, launched a small boat and took some photos.

Arctic Schoooners

The crews were happy to see each other because we both knew they shared some history in the Arctic. Capt. Bob Bartlett of the Ernestina (then the Effie M. Morrissey) and Capt Donald McMillan of the Bowdoin were friends. They had both worked with Admiral Peary on his expeditions to the north.

Bowdoin was built in 1921 to work in the Arctic and is a very rugged boat. She was designed by William Hand, a designer from New Bedford (he actually had an office in Fairhaven just north of Kelly's marina). There is a large collection of Hand's designs at the Hart Nautical Museum at MIT. She has made 28 trips north of the Arctic Circle and still goes north. She is owned by Maine Maritime and is used as a training vessel for the students.

Ernestina was built in 1894 in Essex (near Gloucester) for cod fishing, but since she was also very rugged, she did work in the Arctic. She went north every year from 1925 until the end of WWII. She last went to Brigus, Newfoundland in the early 90's and was in Halifax for the Sail 2000 events.

They were both "chartered" by the military during WWII, they both were used for mapping the area around Greenland and to carry supplies to our bases there.