Vasco da Bertie

Steve Powell
Thu 9 May 2013 14:48

Vasco da Bertie, our intrepid Portuguese Explorer, continues to guide our little boat down the Portuguese Atlantic coast, through all the trials and tribulations of life onboard. (Yes, I am running out of ideas already). Those of you that remember NABS (Not Another Bloody Sunset), will soon become familiar with the new version. NABS: Not Another Bertie Shot.

And for those of you under the age of 30, with an expensive first class private education and many years at University who have never heard of Vasco da Gama, he is a very famous 15th century Portuguese Explorer who was the first explorer to sail directly to India around Africa, along with many other discoveries. Google him. There endeth the lesson, back to more mundane life onboard things.

After our successful and relatively easy Biscay crossing we were stuck in La Corunna for a few days as a Force 7-8 blew off Cape Finisterre, our next challenge.  We still had Peter and Ali Lister with us, who seemed to be taking to life onboard well and headed up the entertainments committee, backgammon, cards etc,.

We did the usual touristy things,  explored Hercules Tower, went for long walks and long lunches and I had two root canals on two infected lower teeth performed by two of the prettiest and most charming dentists I have ever met. Sorry Bob but you simply don’t cut it :-)

But finally we ran out of excuses and set off for Cape Finisterre in a Force 6/7 on the beam. Once again UHURU performed like a dream, never a moments hesitation.

Peter Lister, leant a few things about heavy weather helming, successfully steering us most of the way around Cape Finisterre into a small bay tucked in behind where we spent the night at anchor. (Sorry Peter, you look good on the helm, but Bertie looks so much more ‘Heroic’).

The next few days as we sailed down the coast to Porto, stopping briefly at points on the way, were a mixture of the most wonderful champagne sailing with 20+ knots of wind just aft the beam, and........

...drudgery. You just can’t please them all, can you. Bottie & Bertie asleep, or maybe it’s Bertie & Bottie asleep? They seem to be interchangeable in the skippers eyes, I can never remember which is which.


It was a great couple of weeks which involved a lot of Champagne sailing and a few romantic moments. (Bottie & Willie show us all how it’s done).
Peter and Ali Lister left us in Porto to fly home, and we were joined by David Hagan for the next leg.

Thanks to Peter & Ali for helping us get across the Bay of Biscay, the first and only ‘volunteers’. The Bottie’s were press ganged as usual. Bertie’s missing you Pete, the nose biting sessions are just not the same.

We are now in Cascais, Lisbon, after a successful overnighter into the wind. The boat has turned into full social mode as we are joined by Anita Hagan, and welcomed here by David’s Brother, John, and his beautiful wife Suzie, who live here.  Suzie, a Professional Doggie person, gave Bottie, or was it Bertie, a full wash and shampoo and haircut. He looks very cute, Bertie that is, not Bottie, whose an ugly old codger.

So all’s well on the good ship UHURU, the sun is shining and the wife’s still talking to me. Life’s good.

All the best

Steve & crew
9th May 2013