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Hooked on Tall Ships?

The four-masted, 141-foot Kalmar Nyckel drops anchor in Solomons this weekend

The tall ships have sailed out of Baltimore, where for a week the harbor looked as if it were 1812. The 40-strong flotilla — including 25 tall ships representing a dozen nations — marked the anniversary of the declaration of war on Great Britain and the official start of the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.
    A million people visited over a week.
    For a less hectic but equally awe-inspiring sight, catch up this weekend with a ship as historic as any of those.
    The tall ship Kalmar Nyckel, a full-scale recreation of the original 17th‐century ship, and her 300-strong crew of volunteers, docks at Solomons Island June 22 to 24.
    The original Kalmar Nyckel rivals the Mayflower in historic significance. That ship sailed from Sweden to the New World in 1638 to establish the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley, at Fort ­Christiana in present-day Wilmington.
    Like the reproduction Bounty (as in Mutiny on the) that docked in Annapolis last weekend, this 20th century ship is a wonder in its own right. The four-masted sailing pinnace stretches 141 feet from stem to stern and supports eight miles of rigging. Magnificent carvings on stern represent people who helped make the ship a reality.
    In person, you’ll meet some of the crew — from student, teacher, tradesman to scientist — who sail and maintain the ship. Among the sailors bringing the ship to Solomons are Sharon Litcofsky, port captain, and Lauren Morgans, sea captain.
    From June 22 to 24, the Kalmar Nyckel docks at Watermen’s Wharf on Solomons Island for public sails and tours: FSa 10am-12:30pm and 5-7:30pm and Su 3-5:30pm. $60 w/age discounts. Free dockside tour Su 10am-1pm.  rsvp: 866-659-7447; www.kalmarnyckel.org.
    Miss this visit, and you’ll have to wait to see more tall ships until September 2014, when the fleet returns to Baltimore to mark the end of the War of 1812.