The Metro Washington Chapter gathered in Annapolis, Md., for a new alumni
event—a two-hour cruise aboard the beautiful 74-foot Schooner Woodwind
II. Featured in the 2005 blockbuster The Wedding Crashers, the Schooner
Woodwind II has hosted the likes of Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour,
Rachel McAdams, and Owen Wilson—earning a reputation as a bit of a celebrity
On the day of the Metro Washington Chapter’s trip, group members were
given the chance to hoist the sails (all four of them) and steer the craft
to open water. One captain and three professional crew members (including Penn
State alum Andy Schell ’06) ran the boat, sharing information about the
historic surroundings and serving food and beverages to chapter members.
“The captain and crew were fantastic and provided lots of sailing information,
engaged the group in discussions about Annapolis, boats, and the landscape,
and were just a fun bunch of people,” said Pam Sheets ’95, chapter
treasurer, newsletter editor, and organizer of the outing.
Sheets, who has been on several small sailing charters in Nantucket, Mass.,
said the event was easy to coordinate. “Most of the information that
you need to investigate for an event like this was posted online,” she
After calling two sailing companies to compare pricing, availability, inclement
weather policies, and group size accommodations, Sheets selected Annapolis
Sailing Charters for the cruise. The price of tickets of $35 for members, $40
for non-members (and discounts for children and seniors) covered the entire
cost of the outing. Additional transaction fees were added for alumni who purchased
tickets through the online registration service. Because the chapter piggybacked
on a public sail offered by the charter company, there was no minimum ticket
“We could have sold as many as 48 tickets and filled the boat,” said
Sheets but “we sold 43 tickets which made five public tickets available.
Since two sailboats were going at the same time, the company put all of the
public tickets on one boat, and allowed the chapter to sail solely with Penn
Staters. By luck, we essentially had a charter.”
The event was the Metro Washington Chapter’s first sailing outing. If alumni participants have their way, it won’t be the last.
At the end of the sailing cruise, the group unanimously decided that the chapter
should repeat the sailing event and charter the boat so members could sail
longer and have a meal onboard. “This was a great event and it gave everyone
a chance to talk with other members since the boat was ‘cozy,’” said
Sheets. “No one wanted to return to shore.”
For more information about the Metro Washington Chapter, visit its Web site
at http://www.psuwashdc.org/. For information
about the Annapolis sailing outing, contact Pam Sheets at email@example.com.