Kalmar Nyckel documentary begins filming in Lewes this week, between summer sails. Dr. Frederick Hocker, director of research at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, arrives in Lewes next week as filming continues on “Forgotten Journey,” a documentary about the first trans-Atlantic voyage of Kalmar Nyckel.
Hocker is one of several subjects who will be filmed on board Kalmar Nyckel while in port in Lewes this August. The documentary, produced by Nancy Glass productions, will feature a mix of expert interviews, historical re-enactments and footage from modern-day sails of Kalmar Nyckel, much of which will be filmed in Lewes in the coming weeks.
Dr. Hocker has a special relationship with Kalmar Nyckel. In Sweden, he is responsible for the archeological research on Vasa, a Swedish warship from the same era as Kalmar Nyckel. Vasa spent 333 years under the sea before a salvage operation returned it to the surface in 1961. Hocker has been to Delaware several times to speak and to study the workings of Kalmar Nyckel.
“The Kalmar Nyckel was one of America’s pioneering colonial ships, a Mayflower of the Delaware Valley, yet her remarkable story has never been widely told,” said Samuel Heed, senior historian and director of education for the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. “The trip she took 377 years ago was one of the most ambitious and dangerous voyages in European history. We are thrilled to co-produce this documentary with Nancy Glass Productions and tell the story of the ship’s arduous transatlantic journey through exciting interviews, recreations, and more.”
Kalmar Nyckel is in port in Lewes most days and weekend through Labor Day weekend at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Public Pier. When not filming, she takes passengers on 2.5-hour tours of The Harbor of Refuge, off the coast of Lewes and at the mouth of the Delaware Bay estuary where it opens into the Atlantic Ocean.
On “day sails,” passengers work alongside volunteer crew as they haul the lines, raise the sails, and learn first-hand just how hard it was to cross the Atlantic in the 17th century … unless they’d rather just bring along a picnic and enjoy the sights and sounds of the water while the crew does all the work.
Younger sailors might prefer the more spirited “pirate sails,” where the crew get into character with pirate tales, scavenger hunts and the raising of the Jolly Roger. (The original Kalmar Nyckel was never a pirate vessel, serving instead as a trader, naval scout and colonial ship, but today’s crew love playing the part.)
The ship is also available for charter cruises for group outings, corporate events and private parties, with a maximum of 49 passengers. Bring your own food, or work with a caterer to design the perfect party.
For public sail tickets and more information about specific sails and times, visit www.kalmarnyckel.org
or contact the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation office at (302) 429-7447. Ticket prices are $60 for adults and $40 for children and youth ages 17 and younger.
The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation preserves and promotes the cultural and maritime heritage of Delaware for the education and enrichment of all.