• This unlucky sloop is not the first to have been blown ashore here. In November 1898 EFFIE M MORRISSEY (now ERNESTINA) had a similar experience in Smith Cove during the ‘Portland Breeze’ a raging nor’easter formed by merging lows that wreaked havoc on the Gloucester fleet. There was a very large tidal surge and MORRISSEY had broken loose from the John F Wonson Wharf.

    I am curious to know if anyone can show just where Wonson’s wharf was located or pinpoint where MORRISEY went ashore.

    Al Bezanson


    • Thanks Fred…. I’ll be in to see you with my magnifying glass. As a former resident of Wonson Street and supporter of ERNESTINA I am quite interested in this and would like to satisfy my curiosity. Perhaps the GDT of late November 1898 has something on it. She was mighty lucky not to be at sea in that breeze. It claimed more than than 400 lives and 150 vessels.

      Hope that nice little blue sloop got off without damage. She appears to be constructed of that modern material ‘fiberglass’ and I’m not so sure how that stands up to abuse.


      • Being a former fiberglass sailboat owner, I’d say that if the boat on the Causeway were old enough, with a thicker hull construction than they offer now, the boat suffered only scratches. I had a 1972 D&M 22′ pocket cruiser, which had a thick fiberglass hull and a heavy 4′ keel. She was a tank for her size. Glass boats were overbuilt, because at the time they were unproven and weren’t wooden. Many years later, when I went to a boat show, and you could press your finger against the hull of a new sailboat, and it would give in and dimple. My boat is still moored off Rocky Neck, off the Old Yacht Club and the Rockaway, forty years after she was built.


  • Forty years — maybe there is some promise to fiberglass. Let’s give it another ten, at least, to see how it holds up. I thought boats were supposed to be constructed from trees and I never saw a fiberglass tree.


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