The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation is in its 16th year of training new volunteers to sail this venerable icon of Delaware. Lewes residents are invited to sign up for a 2.5-week summer volunteer crew training class. No sailing experience is required to join this community of people ages 18 and up, or 14-17 with a parent/guardian.
Kalmar Nyckel is an authentic re-creation of a 17th-century Dutch vessel, one of America’s pioneering tall ships that brought some of the earliest permanent settlers to the colonies. Her historical significance mirrors that of the Mayflower. The original Kalmar Nyckel sailed from Sweden to the New World in 1638, leaving her passengers to establish the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley, at Fort Christina in present-day Wilmington.
Kalmar Nyckel sails with the help of hundreds of volunteers who perform dozens of tasks on the vessel. “Those who join us for this intensive summer class will learn to sail this magnificent tall ship, including how to tie knots, safely handle lines and set square-rigged sails the way it was done 375 years ago,” says Captain Sharon, Kalmar Nyckel’s port captain.
Once trained, the volunteers are able to crew Kalmar Nyckel on day trips or weeks-long voyages up and down the East Coast. They can also help support the ship with local public sails in Lewes.
Classes begin Saturday, Aug 3, and run through Thursday, Aug. 22. There’s a $50 materials fee and $45 in fees for drug testing, which is required by the Coast Guard, and a background check. A donation to help cover meals is requested.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and to sign up.
The ship will be in Lewes offering tours and public sails from Sunday, Aug. 4, until Monday, Sept. 2, departing from the Lewes Ferry Terminal. Call the office 302-429-7447 or go to www.kalmarnyckel.org for details.