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A Tall Ship With a Broad Reach™

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 6, 2015

A Tall Ship With a Broad Reach™
by James Rogers

Photo Credit: James Rogers

Photo Credit: James Rogers

I grew up around tall ships and as a result, I have seen many over the years. All ships are unique, but Kalmar Nyckel, a Dutch Pinnace, is by far one of the most unusual. Built in Amsterdam in about 1625, the original ship was famed for serving as the flagship of the expedition that founded the colony of New Sweden, the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley.

Now, out of her home port of Wilmington, Delaware, the replica sails over 3,000 nautical miles a year, from April to November, on the Eastern Seaboard. However, part of what makes Kalmar Nyckel so singular is that she is operated primarily by a crew of 300 active volunteers, not including the captain, relief captain, and the mates. As well as sailing, the volunteers help to maintain the ship each winter in addition to providing much of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s educational program throughout the year.

The new Kalmar Nyckel has one of the most in-depth educational systems I have ever seen outside a museum, with crew members taking responsibility for the tourists’ experiences and actively talking to them about the ship and her history.

Truthfully, Kalmar Nyckel always struck me as something of a cartoon, but that too, compliments her originality and singularity, and I hope I see more of her in the future.

Photo Credit: James Rogers

Photo Credit: James Rogers

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