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A New Book Shares the Secrets of the Kalmar Nyckel

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Photo by Natalie Orga

Kalmar Nyckel: The Tall Ship of Delaware, by Samuel W. Heed, Esq., offers behind-the-scenes knowledge of the famous Delaware ship.

In 1638, a Swedish naval vessel known as the Kalmar Nyckel crossed the Atlantic Ocean to begin the colony of New Sweden in the Delaware Valley. Today, an accurate replica of this majestic ship still sets sail on Delaware waters.

Courtesy of Samuel W. Heed.

The replica Kalmar Nyckel was launched in Wilmington in 1997, and functions as a floating classroom and educational resource for over 30,000 visitors a year. Kalmar Nyckel: The Tall Ship of Delaware, by Samuel W. Heed, Esq., was released this fall and tells the story of this bastion of maritime heritage.

“I’m able to give the public some behind-the-scenes.…You don’t always get to see some of the hidden-away aspects,” says Heed, the senior historian and director of education at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. He also volunteers for several nonprofit boards, such as the Council of American Maritime Museums, and has worked to develop exhibits, programs and documentaries about the ship and its rich history.

I’m able to give the public some behind-the-scenes.…You don’t always get to see some of the hidden-away aspects.”
—Sam Heed, senior historian and director of education at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation

The book includes a foreword by U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper and can be purchased online.

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