The crew loved their captain and called him ‘Beste Vaeder’ (best father), which was then shortened to Bestevaer. The word Vaer also means sailor, seafarer. Thus, De Ruyter was not only the best father, but also the best seafarer. Bestevaer is a very fitting name.
Below is an article published in an old magazine ‘Blauwe Wimpel’ (in Dutch) from 1955 stating that Lieutenant-Admiral Tromp used the name Bestevaer as well but it was given to De Ruyter after the latter came to Tromp’s help when he was in a pickle. Thanks to Gerard Dijkstra and his friend Kick for finding it and sending it to us.