Currently Executive Director of Tall Ships America, Bert's seafaring career began in 1978 when he joined the brigantine Romance, under Capt. Arthur Kimberly. His intention was to stay three weeks. These weeks lasted almost three years, during which the ship circumnavigated
the globe. While underway, Bert was named ship's sailmaker.
More important, his two years before the mast set a course
for becoming bos'n, rigger, mate and captain aboard many future sailing school vessels including Regina, Maris, Sea Cloud, Elizabeth II, Mayflower II, Lindo/Alexandria and finally the Spirit of Massachusetts. Between 1985 and 1993, Bert captained and directed programs aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts at the beginning of her school ship career. He then transitioned to SAIL Adventures in Learning in Maine for three years. While with SAIL, he oversaw the purchase and refit of the schooner Harvery Gamage. In 1996, Bert and ASTA board member Alix Thorne joined forces to aquire Harvey Gamage and run her out of a new organization, the Schooner Harvey Gamage Foundation. SHGF was renamed Ocean Classroom Foundation when they purchased additional schooners Spirit of Massachusetts (200) and Westward (2003).