Dr. Erb’s American Language 500 Class Sails on the Chesapeake

Hughes Edwards ’20

On Sunday, September 30, 2018, Dr. Paul Erb took his American Language 500 English class to Severna Park, Maryland, just outside of Annapolis, to sail on the Chesapeake Bay. Accompanied by faculty members Dr. Tony Watson and Mr. Brent Cirves, the mostly beginner sailors learned to put up sails, and all took turns “at the helm” or in control of steering the boat.

The boats set out for a small area on the water called Eagle’s Cove, and the group stopped for lunch in the mouth of the cove. After diving in the water for a quick swim, the class took the boats around the Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse, giving students the opportunity to see a landmark that has watched over incoming cargo ships to the port of Baltimore for over 130 years.

Thanks to the esteemed sailors, Charlie Fitzgerald, John Bonanno, and Don Kohlhafer, who allowed Woodberry to experience the sea under their guidance and their sails, students enjoyed an extremely interactive field trip. “My forty-five-year-old friendship with Charlie Fitzgerald reminds me of the best Woodberry brotherhoods,” commented Dr. Erb about his former college rugby teammate. “We played and argued together back in the day, and our mutual respect is just as strong now as it was forty-five years ago.”

“We learned that sailing puts each of us in touch with things that matter. That includes each other, unapologetic nature, and the best of engineering. It’s also good to be in the presence of someone who is highly skilled and to respect that. It was a beautiful day, and just learning a little bit was learning a lot. Oh, and it will also help with Moby Dick,” said Dr. Erb, commenting on the class’s current reading of the novel by Herman Melville, the reason for the field trip.

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