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Old Nov 10, 2010, 4:24 PM   #1
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Default The Kalmar Nyckel

This is a reproduction of the original Kalmar Nyckel, which sailed from Sweden to the New World in 1638 leaving its passengers to establish the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley - the Colony of New Sweden in present-day Wilmington, Delaware. She made a total of four roundtrip crossings of the Atlantic more than any other ship of the era. Her first voyage to the New World left 24 settlers of Swedish, Finnish, German and Dutch descent in the Delaware Valley. Joining them was a black freedman who sailed from the Caribbean aboard her companion ship the Fogel Grip.

Here she is




What is really uncanny is that the original builders were able to predict the recent election results in Delaware





The "focsle" of the Kalmar Nyckel. In ships of those days, "focsle" meant the forecastle which was the front "castle" where fighting men fought opposing ships.





Here is another photo of the stern of the Kalmar Nyckel. I'm not sure I want to know what the original builders were thinking about here.




Ted
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 5:29 PM   #2
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Great shots, vivid colors, and an excellent history commentary. Impressive.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 5:36 PM   #3
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Great shots, vivid colors, and an excellent history commentary. Impressive.
Tks!
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 7:09 PM   #4
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Great series, Ted. And, informative as well.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 7:47 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys.

For those of you who don't know what it took to sail across the oceans on sailing ships, take a look at this photo.





To set the sails (let them out or pull them back in) required that you stand on the ropes (highlighted by the red arrows above) that went along and below the spars. No problem on a nice day like this. How about in the north Atlantic in a severe storm with the ship rolling back and forth, and ice on everything including what you're standing on? And how would you feel if you didn't know how to swim? (Most sailors in the days of sail didn't - the US Navy was one of the first maritime organizations to institute swimming lessons for sailors but not until the early part of the 20th century).

If you live in the New World (i.e. North America) then this is the heritage of the people that got your ancestors here.

Ted

PS: Before I get grief from Ken (and cursed by Poseidon), I have to add that the term "rope" wasn't and isn't used by mariners. The term is "line" - I just used the word rope so more folks would know what I meant.

Last edited by tkurkowski; Nov 11, 2010 at 9:14 AM.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 7:48 PM   #6
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really love the detail shots!
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 7:16 AM   #7
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What an excellent series and commentary...!

Thanks for sharing this...!
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 9:11 AM   #8
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If you go to Lewes, Delaware in the summer you can sail aboard her - she is a tourist attraction and if there's enough wind they will set the sails instead of just using the engine. I was too late in the season to do that. What's sad is that I'm not sure whether I'd want to sail aboard her, or be on the shore taking photos of her with the sails set...

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Old Nov 13, 2010, 7:37 AM   #9
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If you go to Lewes, Delaware in the summer you can sail aboard her - she is a tourist attraction and if there's enough wind they will set the sails instead of just using the engine. I was too late in the season to do that. What's sad is that I'm not sure whether I'd want to sail aboard her, or be on the shore taking photos of her with the sails set...
Hi Ted,

A wonderful piece of history with the commentary as good as the photos.

We are lucky to be living on the East Coast where there a still a few of the old ships that sailed the Atlantic back in the days of the earliest settlers. In my neck of the woods we have the Mayflower and the USS Constitution.

And, as great a treat as it would be to be on board when the Kalmar Nyckel went sailing, I would rather be on solid ground taking a photo of her under sail.

Thanks for the slice of history.

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Old Nov 13, 2010, 8:38 AM   #10
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Zig, years ago I did a "windjammer cruise" on an old sailing ship up in Penobscot Bay. After the captain realized I was an experienced sailor and a Navy Officer he let me take the helm a lot (although never when docking - that requires a LOT of practice with a large sailing ship, best done without passengers aboard).

I had a ball - I love the old sailing vessels. That's why the choice between sailing aboard the Kalmar Nyckel or shooting her, would be a hard choice for me. Probably not for the rest of the members of this forum, except for Ken - I'll bet he would have a tough choice also.

Ted
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