Reports from the Bridge

Aug 2013


This being my first article for the Towline I wish to thank the members for expressing confidence in my abilities to perform the functions of Rear Commodore. It seems that I have always been associated with all things Navy or maritime. My paternal grandfather served as a Navy doctor in WWI, my maternal grandfather worked at Mare Island Naval Shipyard for 20 years and with him I helped build a 22’ cabin cruiser, on 8’ pram and seven fiberglass kayaks. My dad served as a corpsman in WWII later becoming a surgeon and did 20 reserve years as his Marine Corps Battalion Surgeon. My father in law was a Navy pilot in WWII. I graduated from the US Naval Academy and spent most of my career flying from or navigating aircraft carriers. One highlight of my Navy career was commissioning Ruth Ellen Murray, my wife, as an Ensign, USNR, aboard USS Constitution, in Boston, Massachusetts.

After retiring from the Navy we moved back to Silverdale. In the civilian world I worked as a project manager repairing carriers at PSNS, was New Vessel Construction Manager at Marco Shipyard, Seattle and as noted will shortly finish as General Manager of the Sause Brothers shipyard in Oregon and return once again to Silverdale.

It was in Newport, RI, 1983, that we bought our first sailboat. A 1977 Columbia 8.7 designed by Alan Payne with the lovely wineglass stern. We sailed that from Newport, RI to Beaufort, NC June of 1984 with two boys 3 and 18 months and Ruth five months pregnant with our daughter (not only are we still married we had another son after that). We ran out of time and had to have it skippered the rest of the way to Naval Air Station, Jacksonville where I commenced yet another sea tour. Another boat came along in 1987, a 1978 Columbia 10.7. We sold that when we left RI. After a year of being boatless in Silverdale we purchased a 1977 Freeport Islander Center Cockpit Ketch literally on a fire sale. After working on it for 7.5 years and threatening to install a bow thruster so we could tack, we purchased our dream boat. The 2003 Hunter 466, “Wings of Gold” you see in slip 224, is even now, 10 years hence, new to us.

Having been a member of BYC for 15 years now, I think it is the best club in the country. I base that observation having owned, operated, and maintained boats for thirty years in four different states throughout our great country. One often hears the virtues of our club extolled, the pump out station, the fuel station, maintenance slip, ways, workshop, galley, clubhouse, picnic area and its lovely shelter, our wonderful outstation, and its protected location. Those are tremendous physical attributes and we should be grateful for them in their own right but those assets, as marvelous as they are would be worthless without the superb members that make BYC the envy of Puget Sound. It is the assets of our club combined with our outstanding members that make the club the envy that it is. The camaraderie and fellowship developed by work parties, cruises, and social events is the glue that cements our reputation as the finest of the Grand Fourteen.

That was proved again most recently by Leo and Stacey Longenecker and their most excellent picnic in the park on July17th. The 120 who attended were the recipients of great work by Leo and his crew. I do think we might have to have a sign up deadline a day or two in advance as the forecast attendance jumped from 60 to 120 the day of the picnic. Again, Leo, great response.

It is my strongest desire to maintain and improve upon that reputation. I will do all that I can to support the Commodore and Vice Commodore as they continue to lead our club in all its fine traditions. Finally, thank you again for the confidence expressed in your vote. It is both humbling and heartening.


Mike Murray
Rear Commodore