Kajama (pronounced 'Kai – ya – ma') was built at Nobiskrug shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany, and launched on July 26, 1930 under the name Wilfred. She was a three-masted cargo schooner. Captain Wilhem Wilckens was her owner and master and he operated from the homeport of Hamburg from 1930 until 1960.
In 1960, she was purchased by Captain Karl Asmussen of Egersund, Denmark. Captain Asmussen renamed the ship Kajama after his two sons and his wife: Kaywe, Jan and Maria. The ship continued to work under sail until the mid1970s, at which time the Asmussens converted her to a strictly motor-driven vessel.
Throughout the years from 1930 until 1998, Kajama traded general cargo. Her voyages went as far south as Balboa in Northwest Spain, throughout Western Europe, and Scandinavia, and above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. In January 1999 after the passing of Captain Asmussen the previous year, Kajama was purchased by Great Lakes Schooner Company of Toronto. After preparation for sea she steamed to England, Azores and on to Toronto. Kajama underwent a major overhaul and restoration to her original profile in just over ten months.