Catching Up

First of all, we are sorry about the lack of posts. Our winter has been much busier than we had expected. We will do a much better job of keeping this site up to date. Thank you to those of you who kindly and gently nudged us into writing again

Dan retired at the end of 2018. Together the four of us spent the month of January working on projects for the boat, enjoying living in the city, and getting out hiking and Mt biking. It was nice to share all of the household duties as well as the Schooling responsibilities evenly between Dan and Ashley. We visited the Flight Museum, Pacific Science center, and Woodland Park Zoo. We hiked Mt Si and spent many days biking at Duthie Hill mountain bike park. Victoria and Alexander were so happy to have their dad with them throughout each day. Dan was excited every day that he has able to wake up, have breakfast with the kids, work on schooling, have lunch, more school, then go play, have dinner and be there to tuck them in at night. It was so easy for him to find joy in even the smallest of tasks because he was with his family and sharing their experiences firsthand as opposed to hearing about things that happened when he got home from work. Dan had zero problem adapting to retirement and did not miss work even for a second.

In February Ashley took a job at a local property management company. She worked 40 hours a week, 5 days a week. This was quite a change from her last 8 years when as a stay at home mom/wife she worked around the clock 7 days a week. She very much enjoyed the time spent in a professional atmosphere and the quiet peaceful time to herself when commuting on the bus. Dan assumed the household duties to include all cooking. This was a major adjustment for him due to his extreme dislike for cooking.  As it turned out he learned very quickly to not only embrace it but he came to enjoy cooking for his family. Dan also took on the role of teacher for the kids. For those of you who know Dan well, you know that he loved this new role the best. Dan loves to challenge the kids in all that they do.

March continued with Ashley working, Dan and the kids working on school and boat projects. When the weather was bad Ashley would come home to all three of them working on a project. Dan is very, very good at getting the kids involved in projects and making it a fun adventure or challenge for them while fixing or improving something on the boat. With the improving weather Dan and the kids were able to meet up with the other kids that live at the Marina. Often Ashley would come home to Dan, Victoria, and Alexander all playing with some of the many marina kids up at the marina courtyard.

April was the month that the Murphys went to Moab Utah. Most of you know that of all of our activities, mountain biking is Dan’s favorite. From the moment the kids could both ride a bike (at the ages of 4) Dan began planning a family trip to Moab. If you did not know; Moab, Utah is well known to have some of the best mountain biking in the world. We loaded up our van with four mountain bikes, two kids, Ranger the dog, and Sonny the cat. Then we began the 19 hours drive to our rental house in Moab. The kids did an amazing job on the technical trails of the Utah desert. We went on many bike rides, a beautiful hike through a canyon, played hours of foosball and went swimming in the pool. We spent two action packed weeks in the high desert. Dan’s parents and Ashley’s dad all visited us while we were there. This allowed for Ashley and Dan to have some alone time on more difficult (fun) trails. Ashley really rocked the harder trails and showed huge improvements in her bike handling skills. Dan was on cloud 9 the entire time there. Even Ashley had to admit to really enjoying mountain biking, which is something she would normally never admit to.  Both Alexander and Victoria did an amazing job on the drive down and back.

May finds us back at the boat finishing the last few projects and constantly looking at the calendar anxiously awaiting our June 19 departure date. Ashley is no longer working so she and Dan are sharing the load. Between home schooling, final boat projects, more hikes and bike rides (the weather is much better these days) and getting our affairs in order for us to be away, May has been a very busy month. While the list will never truly end we have checked off most of the “would likes” and all of the “must dos”. At this point other than a quick trip to the grocery store and a stop at the fuel dock we are ready to get under way. The kids last day of school is June 18. The next morning we plan to head north. On June 8th and 9th we are having an open house/boat for those who wish to see what our new life is like and what a cruising boat setup is all about. If you would like to stop by please email us and let us know.

 

 

Big Changes

I’ll start off by apologizing in advance for not communicating this to some of you before or keeping you in the dark after we started this process. The past 11 months have been HECTIC!

In 2006 we had a crazy idea of selling our home and going sailing in the Caribbean for a year. Thankfully, that lofty goal didn’t work out. We would have sold everything we owned, except our boat, and only been able to manage a year of cruising. I’m sure it would have been a wonderful year but we didn’t have the right boat and a year of fun isn’t much to give up all our appreciating assets.

The dream of sailing away has been with us ever since and in 2013 we decided it was time to find a boat that would safely and comfortably take us to the places we longed to go. That process is another story which is somewhere on this page, I’ll try to link to it another time. We also spent that time working on acquiring more appreciating assets (rental homes) so we could manage to go for much longer than a year, hopefully for 5. Our thoughts were that the best timing for such an adventure would be when our oldest was 10 and our youngest 8. We set a goal of casting off our dock lines in 2021 and after reading about many sailing families with younger children we moved it up a year to 2020.
Fast forward to November 2017… our kids are now 7 & 5 and the time is slipping away too quickly. Combine that with a work schedule that is hard on family life (if you’ve tried to ever get together with us on a weekend you understand) and things came to a head. We decided to put the house on the market spring of 2018 and just go for it. The new plan was to leave in September 2018. Commence the whirlwind. Selling a 3,000 sq ft, on acreage (with barns and outbuildings), and after living there for 14 years is no easy feat. We hadn’t done a very good job at keeping possessions to a minimum and there was a ridiculous amount of stuff. After a crazy summer we succeeded at selling our home, 3 vehicles, a ski boat and a ton of belongings (and donated more than we liked) and were ready to start our adventure. Which meant it was time to move onto the boat and start the next chapter! EXCEPT a project we were having done to the boat wasn’t complete and we had nowhere to go. While in limbo of the boat getting put back together (which doesn’t mean that the project was complete) we decided to change plans once again. The new plan was to wait out the boat project (which by the way as of November 1 still isn’t complete), Dan would continue to work and retire at the end of the year, and the kids would enroll at the school we love, which allows us to home school part-time, and leave in June 2019. This allows us to accomplish a few more tasks on the boat, at a not neck breaking pace, and hopefully see more of friends and family.

So, here is our plan as we sit today. We leave June 2019 to circumnavigate Vancouver Island, going clockwise, and spending a good portion of August in Desolation Sound. We’ve only ever gotten to spend 2 weeks in Desolation Sound and it’s never enough. We will leave Washington in September 2019 and make our way down the west coast at whatever pace feels right. We’ll head into Mexico in early November and stay there for the cruising season, which lasts until May / June when hurricane season starts. What happens then? It’s all TBD. We’ve never, ever, ever been able to just sail and explore without the ties of getting back to work, our house, etc. That’s all over for us and we’re now in a position that we’d like to be out cruising for 8-10 years and potentially longer. We want to spend as much time in any place that we fancy and change our plans as we like. We will visit (in this order probably) Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, possibly Bermuda, the east coast of the US, northern Europe and UK, Mediterranean, back over to the Caribbean (maybe more South America) and thru the Panama canal and cross the Pacific. This is all over 8-10 years. We plan to get to New Zealand or possibly as far as Australia. After that we’re just not sure. At this point we don’t have aspirations to see SE Asia, transit the Indian Ocean or go around the cape in South Africa. But that may change…

Apologies again for taking a year off in updating our page and keeping some of you out of the loop. We will be updating more and more now that things have finally settled. If you have any questions or would like to come see our “home” aka Samadhi V in Seattle let me know.SOLD_11.04.18_Samadhi

Cypress Island

We hiked up to Eagle Cliff from Pelican Beach on Cypress Island. It was a nice sunny day and the views were amazing. One of the coolest things happened when we were sitting up at the top of the cliff. A float plane went by at nearly our elevation (750′), close enough we could clearly see the pilot. We gave him a wave and he gave us a double wing dip in return! Maybe that doesn’t sound so exciting but it really was neat!

Heading Home

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The alarm went off at 5am. We did our usual preparations for weighing anchor. We got the boat running, Dan took Ranger to shore, and Ashley got the electronics on. Once he was back we raised the dinghy, then the anchor and were leaving the cove by 530. We have close to 20 hours before we’re home so there’s no point in both of us being up and tired so Ashley went back to bed for a few hours. She got up with the kids and it was the usual breakfast and morning routine. Since we didn’t get fuel at Refuge Cove we stopped at Garden Bay, Powell River for fuel, about 9am and continued the long trek South. There hasn’t been any wind and none is forecasted so we’re just motoring. It’s a monotonous sound that grates the nerves after a while so Dan went forward to Victoria’s top bunk for some sleep. Ashley and the kids are on watch. The kids pass the time playing cards and chess. They really aren’t bothered by the long days on the boat, it doesn’t seem any different to them as if we were just hanging out on the boat anchored or at the dock. Such adaptable little ones! We never did have wind so motored all the way home. We pulled in to the marina around midnight and were snug in bed by 12:30.

 

Bottom Job – Sept / Oct 2017

Samadhi got pulled out of the water for 3 weeks for some work. She got black bottom paint (goodbye Pacific blue!) and the work yard did a few other odd jobs for us.
We also took the opportunity to wet sand the hull, compound, polish, and wax since the gel coat was pretty chalky. It took us 50 man hours to complete. Thank goodness we had use of the lifts in the yard.
We started by using a heavy duty cutting compound and found that wasn’t improving the situation. So off to the store for some sandpaper. Seeing Samadhi on the lift makes me a bit queasy… taking sandpaper to the hull was enough to make me want to throw up. But alas Dan was correct, the only way to cut thru the chalk and get the compound to bite was to wet sand. Ashley wet sanded the entire boat on one lift and Dan followed on the other with the compound, polish, and wax. We eventually worked on the same lift separating into 2 sections, so much faster that way. Samadhi doesn’t look brand by any means (she’s now 30!) but we’re hoping this work will make it easier to keep the hull looking good in the future. We need to do the same to the topside but that will have to wait till spring…

The most amazing falafel

Grandpa came over this morning to grab the kids for a craft on their boat. Ashley and Dan ran back over to Squirrel Cove to get off the boat for a bit. We’ve eaten 3 meals a day on the boat for the past 11 days so we got something to eat for lunch and some ice cream. Maybe it’s the 30+ meals of her own cooking that Ashley’s endured but she thought Squirrel Cove Take Out had the best falafel with yam fries she’s ever tasted! The sea salt and caramel ice cream in a waffle cone was perfect as well. We also visited the Cortes Island Arts & Crafts store for some neat items made on the island. We were anxious to see the kids so picked them up then went hiking. The trails on Cortes Island are user maintained and even though there was some windfall yesterday the hike was pretty good. Today we decided to take a different trail and ended up on the most primitive, windfallen trail we’ve ever done. It was pretty miserable for about 90 minutes before we got to a trail that had has recent maintenance. It turned out to only be about 4 miles but the kids amazed us with their resilience, as usual. They took it for an opportunity to jump off the fallen logs or to go under them. They had a few moments where we thought they might lose it… but honestly, I think the 4 adults did too. They just didn’t vocalize it quite as loudly. Today is Dorothy & Dennis’s anniversary so after dinner we went over for fresh blackberry cobbler. It was our last night in Desolation so we played some cards and said our goodbyes.

Squirrel Cove


Dan and Ashley got up early for this trip, 7am, and readied Samadhi for her next destination. We weighed anchor by 8am and headed over to Refuge Cove to fuel up. Apparently, all of Desolation Sound had this same idea as the fuel dock was packed by the time we got there. We decided to push on to Squirrel Cove. Squirrel was pretty much empty so we had our choice of places to drop the anchor. We got ourselves settled and a little while later Dorothy and Dennis arrived. The kids went over to Slojourn for a visit and Dan & Ashley took the dinghy over to the little community of Squirrel Cove which is about 3nm outside of the anchorage. We were down to only apples for fresh fruit so got some plums, pears and fresh figs. We hiked from our anchorage to one on the other side of the island, Von Donop. After dinner we took the dinghy into the lagoon and met up with Dorothy and Dennis, they’d kayaked over a little earlier. The rapids change direction based on the tide so we got quite the push into the lagoon. After playing in the lagoon we decided to head back out. The tide hadn’t changed yet and the rapids were still flowing into the lagoon so it was a bit of an adventure to get out.