GLCC member Allen Murphy (Murph) began surfing 5 foot Lake Erie waves sailing off the beaches of Presque Isle in 1977 on his 11' Sunflower sailing dinghy. Since moving on to cruising boats in 1992 with his first keel boat, a Catalina 25 named Kelly, he has now logged over 4,000 miles on the southernmost great lake, personally experiencing virtually every one of its ports, marinas, anchorages, islands and weather systems. Murph was a featured presenter at the 2011 Cleveland MidAmerica Boat Show on a similar topic.
To read about his exploits aboard his 1979 Endeavour 32, Kelly IV, or his current cruising platform (RV and Catalina 250) check out the cruising logs on his website: CaptMurph.blogspot.com.
When not exploring Lake Erie, Murph, a retired US Coast Guard Licensed Master and retired yacht broker, has also enjoyed cruising other venues on other people's boats and charter boats, including the North Channel, Georgian Bay, Lake Michigan, British Virgin Islands, Florida Keys, Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, Bermuda, San Francisco Bay, San Diego Bay, and Australia's Whitsunday Islands. He sailed Kelly IV 2500 nautical miles (over half the distance single-handed) from Lake Erie out the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Maritime Provinces and New England from May to September 2011. Kelly IV was berthed in Annapolis, Maryland where Murph served as a yacht broker for two years before continuing cruising the Chesapeake Bay. Upon retiring from the brokerage he headed south down the IntraCoastal Waterway and returned north to the Chesapeake for two round trips of the ICW. Now based in Central Florida, his plans (written in sand at low tide) include cruising the Florida Keys, Bahamas and a return to the Great Lakes aboard his trailerable sailboat hauled by his motor home. He replaced his full time cruising boat, Kelly IV, with the RV and smaller pocket cruiser, Irish Rover, in 2017.