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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Kalmar Nyckel Wilmington 2008

7th Finglish trip October 2008 #43

Kalmar Nyckel was constructed in about 1625, and was of a design called a pinnace. The ship was originally named Sleutel (Dutch for key), and to distinguish it from several other ships called Key it was known by the name of the city of Kalmar, which purchased the ship in 1629, as its contribution to a state-sponsored trading company, Skeppskompaniet. It was later purchased into the Swedish Navy. When Sweden decided to establish a trading colony in the New World under the direction of Peter Minuit, Kalmar Nyckel was chosen for the voyage.

The ship sailed from Gothenburg in December 1637, commanded by Jan Hindriksen van der Water, but encountered a severe storm in the North Sea and had to divert to the Netherlands for repairs. They departed on New Year's Day 1638, arriving in North America in March 1638. They built a fort on the present site of the city of Wilmington, which they named Fort Christina.

A replica of the ship was launched at Wilmington, Delaware, in 1997, it takes passengers for cruises along the east coast of North America.

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