The Characters

Milagro’s sons and daughters helped fishermen for hundreds of years. The Portuguese Water Dogs would pull in broken fishing nets, herd schools of fish and even carry messages from the owners back to the shore. Today fisherman use radios and equipment, but Milagro’s great, great, great-grandson, Bo, helps Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, do his job.

Henry the Navigator was born in 1394, the son of King João and Queen Philippa. Henry inspired many of the great explorers of history, including Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. At his school in Sagres, he taught them how to listen to the sea and navigate with the stars, and his students even built the ship that would take them across the oceans to explore far away lands such as North and South America, India and Africa. They call this time the Age of Discovery or the Age of Exploration.

King João the First was often called João the Good, because of his loving and kind nature. He loved to learn about religion, culture, math and the sciences. He was born in 1385. He married Queen Philippa, who was born in England in 1387. She moved to Portugal to marry King João and is remembered for being a generous and loving queen. Together João and Philippa were the parents of Henry the Navigator and led what is called the “illustrious generation.”

Diego came from a long line of adventurous fisherman who learned their skills along the shoreline of southern Portugal. He and his trusted dog, Millie, would fish for tuna, mackerel, sardines and other fish that fed all of the people in the town. Because of his courage, the fisherman of Sagres relied on Diego to teach them the ways of the sea.