Tuesday, December 24

The Commander

Within the context of the 21st century, the Captain of the HMS Acasta is Robert Fryman, a soft-spoken and eccentric instructor of German and Military History at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia. Prior to arriving at MMA, Fryman earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh concentrating in the historical archaeology of the 18th and 19th centuries and previously taught as a professor of Anthropology at Kent State University and Georgia State University. He is an active bridge officer in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and brings his love of the sea to his interpretations of 18th and 19th century sailing.

Fryman spends his much of his “copious” free time researching and studying the naval technology and sailing practices of the British and American navies of the 18th & 19th centuries. He most commonly can be found in his study at “Friedlichkeit”, his home in the Shenandoah Valley, poring over period manuals, journals, and historical fiction relating to the “Age of Fighting Sail.”

Fryman has been interpreting history and reenacting since 1977, traveling through time to the American frontier of the 18th century, the War of the Rebellion, to the struggles on the Western Front in 1917. As the “Captain”, Fryman has developed interpretive programs on the duties, responsibilities and life of a British naval captain during the Napoleonic Wars which have been presented to public groups and historical sites in the eastern United States. His presentations are guided by his love for passing on the knowledge of life and sailing aboard the tall ships during the height of the Age of Fighting Sail.

When not pacing the windward side of the quarter deck of the HMS Acasta, or teaching German in a classroom, Fryman stays busy reading, researching, and chasing after his dachshund, the Herzogin Audrey, affectionately known as “Tuti”.

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