The Massachusetts Maritime Academy has hired Tiffany Krihwan as the new captain of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, the renovated tall ship that is expected to arrive at the Cape Cod campus this fall.
Captain Krihwan joins the Mass Maritime staff from Discovery World in Milwaukee, where she was director of marine operations since 2014 and senior captain of the Denis Sullivan, a 19th-century Great Lakes schooner, since 2008.
“We’re adding a proven leader to our ranks, and I’m looking forward to seeing Captain Krihwan at the helm of the Ernestina-Morrissey,” said Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, president of the academy. “We’re excited to have a captain of Tiffany’s sailing experience, leadership skills and passion for our program aboard.”
An Erie, Pennsylvania, native, Capt. Krihwan took up sailing FJs at the age of 10 at the Erie Yacht Club. She began sailing tall ships in 1997 when she was appointed chief mate of the Appledore IV. Other leadership positions include captain of the Boston-based schooner Roseway, chief mate of the Pride of Baltimore II, relief captain of the Los Angeles-based brigantine Exy Johnson and captain of the tall ship Unicorn.
“It’s an honor to be joining MMA and captaining the Ernestina-Morrissey. It’s hard to beat the beauty and grandeur of tall ships,” Capt. Krihwan said.
Drawn to the position at the academy by the Ernestina-Morrissey’s history and pedigree, Capt. Krihwan is looking forward to guiding the ship and her crew on the waters off Cape Cod. “I’ve sailed on a few Grand Banks fishing schooners, the Lettie G. Howard and Roseway, over the years and love the way they sail so effortlessly. They are amazing sailing vessels,” she said.
With the Ernestina-Morrissey, Capt. Krihwan is eager to start a sail training program from the ground up and help integrate a tall ship into the academy’s curriculum. “This is such a special opportunity not only for me, but for the cadets,” she said. “Working with these historic vessels helps individuals become far better sailors. You really need to observe the fundamental principles of sailing.”
She also will have an important role in teaching the cadets at the academy and mentoring them to become leaders. According to Capt. Krihwan, her leadership style is to lead by example and believes a captain is only as good as her crew. Her hope is to not only share her love of tall ships with the cadets but also pass along skills that are important on sea and land.
“One of my favorite aspects of sailing a tall ship is seeing the crew and students personally grow from the experience and witness their confidence in themselves develop during their time aboard the ship,” Capt. Krihwan said. “My hope is that they take the experience with them and apply the skills and attributes learned at sea to their shore life.”
Capt. Krihwan will be relocating to the Cape Cod area with her 11-year-old daughter. In her spare time, she plans to continue the restoration of the Mahanna, her wooden 30-foot Tahiti ketch.
The Ernestina-Morrissey is a Gloucester fishing schooner originally built with white oak and yellow pine and launched in 1894. It is undergoing a historical renovation at Bristol Marine Shipyard in Booth Bay Harbor, Maine, and will arrive at MMA in the fall of 2021. Mass Maritime will focus the efforts of the Ernestina-Morrissey in three areas: sail-training and leadership training for cadets, K-12 STEM programming and community outreach. The Ernestina-Morrissey’s history includes traveling within 600 miles of the Arctic Circle as an explorer ship, fishing for cod in the Atlantic and eventually becoming a Cape Verde packet ship. In 1976, the Ernestina-Morrissey became a bicentennial gift to the United States from the people of the Cape Verde Islands.