Early Life Edit
The few pieces of information we have about the earlier years of Ernest's life come from an account given by his associate Gibbous Moon. According to her, Ernest had a childhood pet, Blinky the Narwhal, who eventually grew too big for the house, and thus had to be kept outside from then on. This sparked resentment growing in Blinky, and he ran away. Now feeling nothing but hate towards Ernest, Blinky repeatedly reemerged in the following years, for the purpose of ruining Ernest's life, including getting him kicked out of the naval academy and destroying his marriage.
However, Moon's account has one huge problem, calling its entire truth into question: It ends with what later turned out to be a blatant lie. She claimed that one last fight against Blinky resulted in Ernest's death. (The whole purpose of her story in the first place was to explain Ernest's absence to Ryan Beckwith, Amy Chilton and Desmond Fishman. Actually, Ernest just went in hiding in order to evade tax.) The presence of Blinky's skull though  (with a clearly visible bullet hole and repurposed as jar for Werther's Original brand bonbons) is evidence that at least some parts of this version of Ernest's biography may actually be true.
Moon offers us a clue about Ernest's age, by stating that (as of 2008) Blinky had been his enemy since 50 years , while Ernest himself mentioned that in 1957, he was quarreling with "a bootneck" over a woman named Mary  (who is looking similar enough to likely be the woman he was about to marry in Moon's account ).
According to Ernest, he also was once serving on a ship called the HMS Gorbals. (Perhaps that was during his time at the naval academy, a likely conclusion due to the ship's prefix suggesting that it belonged to the Royal Navy.)
Adventures in Scary Go Round Edit
Ernest first appeared in the comic as one of the people present when Tim demonstrated one of his inventions. Since then he had numerous interactions with Tim, Shelley, and others in their social circle, helping them out whenever someone with nautical expertise was needed. On one of these adventures, he made the acquaintance of the young marine biologist Gibbous Moon. At first being skeptical about having a woman on board , he eventually learned to respect her as a fellow sailor  (more because of her fighting  rather than her drinking and swearing skills  though), and even (successfully) offered her to permanently join him in his research.
Ernest's whole pride was the Lady Elaine, a "fully submersible research station and action platform". (Or in other words, a boat that could also turn into a submarine.) Later it got upgraded to the Super Elaine.
But Ernest also had a deep dark secret: Back in the 90's, when the movie 'Free Willy' and the resulting popularity of marine biology somehow caused Ernest's own research grands to dry up, Ernest saw no other choice but to become a smuggler. By the late 2000's, he had become the boss of a whole smuggler ring, by dressing up as the ghost of the notorious pirate Blackbeard and intimidating postmen into working for him, and with Moon being his partner in crime. This eventually all ended with his and Moon's arrest, after Amy, Ryan and Desmond managed to expose them.
Ernest Cromerty's name sounds somewhat similar to that of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, who's most well known work also has a nautical theme. Furthermore, many photos of Hemingway show him with a full beard, thus rendering him and the Tackleverse Ernest similar in appearance. It is not known if this is indeed intentional or just a coincidence.