California History Sailing Trip

The classroom for most of this course is a sailboat. The waterborne part of this course is on a modern sailing yacht. The course is designed to emphasize the fact that before railroad development in the 1870s, California’s history was mostly a maritime history.

The course is not like a classroom course; rather, it is an extended fieldtrip. As such it strives to enhance a student's attentiveness to surroundings and ability to see layers of history at particular sites. On walking tours we want to have a heightened awareness of human history in geography, architecture, and town planning. The sailing will encourage awareness of the wind, currents, and tides that, in the past, had much influence on human hopes, plans, and accomplishments. Fieldtrips should help us learn to see the historical evidence that surrounds us, to read the ways topography pressures history, the ways architecture proclaims intentions, and the ways people have perceived their responsibilities to other people and to their environment.

Read the class syllabus