Tuesday, May 5, 2009


The official seal of the official state vessel off of the official state vessel's official website.As many shipmates know, New Bedford's own Ernestina/former Effie M. Morrissey , the Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is toodling down the New England coast in order to lumber up to its usual berth on the New Bedford waterfront on Saturday. You can read all about it in this piece on SouthCoastToday by sometimes-mariner Don Cuddy -- who's made it to the semi-finals in the Standard-Times' Last Reporter Left Writing reality show. (At least, I think that he's a mariner. Or maybe I'm just assuming that he is because his name is a boat part.)
Ernestina is not the official ship of the Commonwealth, mind you; Ernestina is the official vessel. Because some people feel that the U.S.S. Constitution should hold the title of "official state ship," but it's owned and operated by the United States Navy, and so can't just be Massachusetts' ship because that wouldn't be fair. (At least, that's how it was explained to me. It's also how me not getting a pony was explained to me.)
And don't get me started about how Spirit of Massachusetts should be the state ship because it's named "Massachusetts." It was goodwill ambassador for a few years back in the Eighties but like the rest of the "goodwill ambassadors" of Boston, it blazed, burned out, invested in a dot-com, and ultimately went into teaching. Spirit... joined Hardly Damaged and WetWords to become an official Ocean Classroom vessel, and so had to get all serious and junk. No more of this "Official State" nonsense. (And it's a Commonwealth, anyway.)
I had originally endeavored to keep track of Ernestina here in the Journal and eventually take pictures or something at the Big Party on Saturday and urge everyone to donate to the Ernestina organization so that they can pay the three million dollars to re-do the aft section so that photographers don't feel uncomfortable about shooting abaft the main.
But. I can't find Ernestina anywhere on any online tracking charts. The Gloucester paper says that they're expecting Ernestina, so maybe by then they'll call in to the Coast Guard with their coordinates and I can be all navigatey and show some dots on the chart.
Oh, in case you were wondering: Massachusetts' official state muffin is "Corn."


Dr. Momentum said...

And the cookie is Toll House, of course. Or "Frack, yeah!" as the geeks say.

ThirdMate said...