Saturday, May 9, 2009

Welcoming Ernestina back

Yeah. THAT's a day for schoonering The day started just as you see in the above depiction. One would certainly expect a little fog over the moors (saltmarsh in our case) this time of year, but a moon high tide gave the backyard that delightfully trendy "Melted Polar Ice Caps Due To Global Climate Change" mien. With several handfuls of pollen jammed imprudently into the truck's ventilation system at some point overnight, we were puffy-eyed and sniffly enough to feign any required rapturous delight at the return of an old friend.
I have never actually sailed upon Ernestina (née Effie M. Morrissey). Well, truth be told, I can't actually remember having done so. As I have remarked elsewhere in this Journal, one trapezoidy-triangulary-sailed rig is much like any other to these old eyes, and those memories tend to merge into one woolgathered supertopsailforeandaftgaffrigcraft called SpiritofCityofLeddiPioClearVenturepiackWanderAppleRose.
I mean, I think that I remember sleeping onboard Ernestina, (nights on Union Street being what they once were). But those memories are about as clear as the visibility from M/V CuttyHunk this morning as we motored out to meet the darling daughter of our majestic port of once-Old Dartmouth, now New Bedford. (Or, "New New Bedford," if teevee's Chronicle is anything to be believed.) It's in there...I mean, I remember the queasiness. But that might just have been the diesel.We're gaining on her...The skipper brought us out to my favorite part of the channel -- where I can start to feel the swell of Buzzards' Bay -- and immediately informed us that we'd be turning around in order to escort the guest of honor. As you can see from the ensuing chart, our trip was a mere squirt from Point A (State Pier) to Point B (someplace out by the last green can). And back to Point A.Green on your right when you're going;red on your right when returning. Now you know everything that you need to know....Where this vessel awaited us:I wonder who's on that boat? In case you can't see the monicker this F/V ("fishing vessel") sports, let me embiggen its emblazonment:Oh, THAT'S who. So, as New Bedford celebrates the return of her own historic Ernestina, we can all see why the Port of New Bedford is the biggest money-making port in the world.
Because we know exactly who we are.

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