The tall ship with the broad reach passed through the broad expanse known as the Tappan Zee on Friday, Aug. 9.
The Kalmar Nyckel was on its way from Yonkers to Kingston, where it hosted eight public sails at the Hudson River Maritime Museum from Aug. 10-14. The ship returns to the Yonkers City Pier for five public sails from Aug. 16-18.
Launched in 1997, the Kalmar Nyckel is a replica of a ship that was built by the Dutch around 1625, then used to transport sailors, soldiers, and settlers from Sweden to the current state of Delaware during four round trips between 1637 and 1644. The Kalmar Nyckel was the flagship to Peter Minuit, the first governor of New Sweden.
Following its service to the New Sweden Company, the ship returned to the Swedish navy until it was decommissioned in 1651, then sold to a Dutch merchant. Its fate is unknown.
Every spring, summer, and fall, the contemporary Kalmar Nyckel hosts public sails along the east coast of the United States. Before arriving in the Hudson River Valley, which it visited in 2015, 2016, and 2018, the ship traveled from its home port of Wilmington (Del.) to Maryland, Virginia, and Massachusetts. From the Hudson, it will head to Delaware, Pennsylvania, Delaware again, then Maryland.
The original Kalmar Nyckel carried 12 cannons. The replica has four, with room for six more, in addition to two swivel guns. The ship’s practical amenities include a gas stove and oven as well as a refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, and dryer powered by two diesel generators. Instead of air conditioning, the crew uses fans. There is also a shower if the crew is able to connect to a water source on shore.
The full-time crew consists of a captain, a chief mate, a second mate, and a chef. There is also a relief captain. The rest of the crew is made up of trained volunteers, who spend at least a week at a time aboard the ship.
Since 2006, the full-time captain has been Lauren Morgens, a native of Norwalk, Conn. On Aug. 8, while the Kalmar Nyckel stopped in Yonkers on its way to Kingston, the 39-year-old was asked why the ship returns to the Hudson Valley. In response, she mentioned the deepwater ports, the welcoming residents, and the natural beauty, particularly the Palisades and the Highlands.
The volunteers last week ranged from a 16-year-old to 82-year-old Tony Bosworth, a native of Eastchester, NY, and a resident of Delaware since 1970. On Aug. 4, he surpassed 10,000 hours of helping out with the ship, which he started 21 years ago. To mark that milestone, a wooden carving of his visage will be added to the “angel faces” that wrap around the rear of the Kalmar Nyckel.
Bosworth, who retired as the vice president of marketing for DuPont in Mexico, now resides in a continuing care retirement community. “Everybody there is old,” he said. “A few are younger than me, and a lot are older than me… So I come to this place where there’s five generations of people that I can mix with.”
Sails cost $50 for adults and $35 for ages 17 and under. To book a spot, visit www.kalmarnyckel.org.
Tim Lamorte is an award-winning journalist who has spent more than two decades documenting life along the Hudson River.