Warm welcome for tall ship Sagres’
A small piece of Portuguese naval history cruised majestically into Hamilton Harbour yesterday as part of a four-month Atlantic training expedition.
The tall ship Sagres and her immaculately turned out crew came gently alongside just after 10am, after a smooth 20-day crossing from Lisbon.
For Commander Paulo Alcobia Portugal, the arrival brought back memories from 1992 when he was on board the same vessel as she sailed to Bermuda for the Tall Ships.
“I was a young officer back then on board Sagres and we stayed in Hamilton,” he said.
“I have very happy memories of Bermuda and it is very nice to be back here again.
“Our first goal on board this ship is instruction and the training of our cadets, but we must always remember this is a emblematic ship of Portugal, so we take a little bit of Portugal around the world whenever we travel.
“Sagres is a hard ship to work on — she requires a great deal of manual work because there is not a lot of mechanical systems.”
Sagres used to be called Albert Leo Schlageter and was built for the German Navy in 1937.
The vessel served in the Second World War until the ship and crew were captured by the American forces.
She was handed over to Brazil in 1948 before being incorporated into the Portuguese Navy in 1962, and named Sagres.
Since then the ship has called at 113 foreign ports in 45 countries and has carried out three world circumnavigations in 1978-79, 1983-84 and 2010.
Sagres has also completed training cruises with the cadets of the Portuguese Naval Academy every year.
Yesterday, a crew of 132 military personnel and 42 Portuguese Naval Academy cadets arrived in Bermuda for a three-day stopover on her way to Philadelphia.
Commander Portugal, who has more than 30 years experience in the navy, added: “After Bermuda we will be visiting a number of cities on the east coast of America that have strong Portuguese communities.
“Everyone knows Bermuda has a strong Portuguese community so it makes sense for us to come here.
“We hope that many people take advantage of the opportunity to come aboard the ship and meet the crew.”
Cadet Ana Peixoto, 19, added: “We had a very calm and quiet crossing from Lisbon.
“It was good to be able to put into practice all the things that we had learnt at college during the year.
“Bermuda looked very beautiful as we arrived and I am looking forward to seeing some of the Island’s beaches.”
Sagres, which is due to arrive back in Portugal in September, will be open to visitors between 10am and 9.30pm today and tomorrow, and from 10am to 3pm on Friday.
MPs’ Blu party under investigation
Third US arrival tests positive for virus
Starwood rejects Caroline Bay funding claim
Covid-19: cases are pandemic “wake-up call”
More flights on the way from British Airways
Mother’s appeal over missing son
Take Our Poll