Frankly, the A.J. Meerwald , the Kalmar Nyckel, and the Gazela deserve far better. The A.J. Meerwald, the “Official Tall Ship of the state of New Jersey,” is a 1928 built Delaware Bay oyster schooner. The Kalmar Nyckel , the Delaware’s “Official Tall Ship,” is a replica of a 1625 built pinnance, which was the flagship of the colony of “New Sweden,” in much of what is now Delaware. The 1901 built barkentine Gazela Primeiro is a Portuguese fishing schooner now lovingly restored in Philadelphia.
These fine vessels will be play-acting as “pirate” ships this Sunday in mock battles in an event sponsored by the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Pairing an oyster schooner, a 15th century replica and a Portuguese barkentine is fine, but letting them be overrun by Disney-fied pirates, well that is a bit much.