Kalmar Nyckel- She Sails The Ocean Blue, This Saucy Ship Of Beauty- Part 1, The Reception

by: Marlene email
Tall ship Kalmar Nyckel arrives in Cape Charles

Kalmar Nyckel Arrives In Cape Charles

Anyone who loves Gilbert and Sullivan and sees this beautiful tall sailing ship will immediately think of the song  “She Sails The Ocean Blue”  from “H.M.S. Pinafore”  because  this saucy ship’s definitely a beauty and as a reproduction  of  a grand Dutch pinnace  which made four round trips from Sweden to “New Sweden”  (Delaware) in the mid-1600’s,  she sails the oceans blue.   Sponsored in part by Blue Heron Realty Co.  and as part of  the  Tall Ships Initiative of  Cape Charles and Northampton County  (which was  the brainchild of  David Kabler,  broker for  Blue Heron’s  Cape Charles office )  the  Kalmar Nyckel arrived in the deep water Cape Charles harbor on June  2nd and settled right in for a 5 day celebration of  her eagerly awaited trip to  the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  including a Friday evening  on-board reception to be given by Blue Heron Realty Co.  (Click to enlarge the small photos.)


Even the weather co-operated beautifully-  early in the week it had been quite warm,  high temps about 90 but thankfully the wee hours of  Friday morning brought  a cold front  and the day dawned in the low 60’s with refreshing breezes all day long.  I was so relieved because in my role as Chief Cook & Bottle Washer  for Blue Heron’s on-board reception from 6:30 to 8:30 that  evening ,  my biggest worry all along  had been how to keep cold hors d’oeuvres  cold on a warm evening, on deck ,  with no real refrigeration and precious little shade.  We were, of course,  already prepared with lots of  big coolers and special serving trays with ice reservoirs underneath but still, I was really delighted that the high would be only in the  mid-70’s !


The evening kicked off about 6pm with an official  Welcoming Ceremony which included the Northampton County High School Band, presentation of the colors by the Coast Guard,  remarks by Cape Charles Mayor Dora Sullivan  and presentation of  a huge gift basket for Captain Lauren Morgan and her crew.  Then it was  on-board for Blue Heron’s  reception which proved to be a merry time indeed.  The invitations had gone out with Colonial or pirate attire as an optional dress code,  just to spice things up a bit.  Period attire was another of Dave’s ideas ( well, truth be told, Dave had hoped for mandatory but settled for optional )  and it added a lot of  entertainment to the evening.  The Kalmar Nyckel crew also wore their Colonial garb adding to the over-all ambience but I must say that the top prize for guys for the evening  ( had there been one ) would have gone  to local Eastville attorney Bert Turner,  usually seen in a sharp suit and crisp dress shirt,  whose flowing wig,  rakish hat and fancy garb  transformed him so completely into a  fashionable Colonial  pirate  it seemed as if  he had truly just stepped out of  a time machine.  A number of the the ladies had really wonderful costumes as well,  including Irene Henderson,  Sandy Mayer,  Susan Kovacs,  Dianne Appell,  Ann Walker  and  Carol Russ.  Even Cape Charles Town Council members  Bruce Evans and Joan Natali as well as  County Supervisor Spenser Murray got into the Colonial garb spirit,  wearing  period vests,  blouses and breeches.


And if I do say so myself,  the food turned out quite well too.  Planned and executed by Blue Heron’s  “Reception Committee”   headed up by Gerry Forbes and rounded out by Lisa Anderson and Kay Lewis,  these ladies planned and put together an attractive and tasty  array of cold appetizers  including a beautiful centerpiece fruit tray of 3 different types of melons, 3 different types of grapes,  some lusciously ripe Hawaiian pineapple and picture-perfect strawberries, then garnished with kiwi,  cherries and blackberries.   Flanking the fruit tray on either side were trays of assorted cheeses plus bread bowls filled with a most tasty humus as well as chopped spiced tomatoes for bruchetta complimented by  a large relish tray of mixed olives with marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts.  But the most popular item seemed  to be the mini sweet potato biscuits stuffed with country ham,  the contrast of the sweetness of the biscuits and the saltiness of the ham was absolutely perfect and a great accompaniment to the fruit and cheeses.  Early on in the planning stages we did an office wine tasting lunch to decide on the wines, ( yup, everyone  somehow  managed to  just  “happen”  to be at the office at lunchtime that day !  )   A unanimous vote chose a  fruity rose’  sparking wine as the  favorite,  with a dry white sparking wine a close second.  These were served along with Samuel Adams light summer ale on draft which proved quite popular as well.


Entertainment was provided  by the very, very  talented duo of  Carol Russ  on  accordian and Malcolm Russ  on  violin,  whose wide ranging repertoire included many  popular songs like  Red Sails In The Sunset   to  about 15 robust choruses  of What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor   vocalized by  Dave Kabler together with the Kalmar Nyckel’s  Captains  Lauren Morgan and  Sharon Litcofsky.  I personally think that the right music can help make or break an evening and the  Russ’  performance was great,  it added so much to the over-all ambience.  A pleasant summer’s eve,  a light breeze blowing,  laughter here and there,  pleasant conversation all around,  good food and wine,  all on-board such a unique venue, a beautiful tall sailing ship.  But because the Kalmar Nyckel  has no real lights on deck,  by previous agreement,  the Captain needed  guests to depart before 9pm,  so too soon it was over.   Malcolm and Carol  played that very beautiful song made famous by Sarah Brightman some years back,  Time To Say Goodbye  and with that  we  all said our good night’s and goodbye’s but those of us at Blue Heron won’t soon forget this special evening.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

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