Tag Archives: Deer Harbor

A Dog’s Life on Orcas Island – Part 1

Sandi Friel with Leonberger MurphyPosted by Sandi Friel

When Bob and I relocated from Florida to Orcas Island, our dog Murphy was 5-1/2 years old. That might be considered young for many dogs, but for Leonbergers who have an average lifespan of seven years, Murphy’s best days had passed. Or so we thought.

Murph turned out to be like Robert Moran of Rosario Resort and Moran State Park fame. Moran arrived on Orcas at 47 years old in such poor health that his doctors didn’t expect him to live to see 50. Of course Moran outlived all his docs. Orcas Island’s low-stress, fresh-air, outdoorsy lifestyle inspired the retired shipbuilder to live another 39 years!

Likewise our Murphy lived almost another full Leonberger lifespan after we moved to Orcas. Hiking Turtleback Mountain and Moran Park, paddling in the cool water off North Beach, patrolling the property for deer, driving around the island in his papa’s pickup to visit friends and collect hugs and biscuits, enjoying the temperate Northwest climate: Murphy had a lot to live for here on Orcas. The healthy, adventure-filled and extremely dog-friendly island kept him going well past what would be, in human years, his 100th birthday.

Murphy trotted off to Fiddler’s Green this past August at age 13. The following are a few of the many wonderful island moments Murphy and dogs like him have available here on Orcas. There’s also a shot of our new puppy Quinn, as he eases into the island lifestyle with his first boat ride.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we take a closer look at some of the island’s pet-friendly perks!



Filed under Adventure, Community, Nature

It Takes an Island to be a Senior

Teri WilliamsBy Teri Williams

Having the opportunity to be the listing agent and property manager for Lahari home in Deer Harbor was a huge honor for me, chalked up yet another successful sale, and created a relationship that moved me ahead on another adventure.

The Lahari Board wanted to expand its outreach into the community by creating programs that fit the life style of our community members who have had many birthdays behind them and few in front of them, our seniors. They asked me to join the board and I soon found a passion for our Safe Home Program.

LahariThe Safe Home Program supports seniors who wish to remain in their homes by evaluating the health and safety aspects of the home, and following up with recommendations for improvements. Lahari is well-funded and committed to financial support as part of the program. We have a handful of contractors and tradesmen who volunteer their skills for some of these improvements.

In the past, Lahari’s focus was mainly hospice care, however, many of our community seniors (and even not-so-senior) wish to remain in their homes instead of moving to a care facility. Something in the blood when you live on an island! I believe we have a pioneer spirit and cast iron constitutions supporting our independent attitudes.

The Safe Home Program is set up to check for hazardous situations, but I am finding it offers much more by giving and receiving emotional support as well. Many of the seniors are lonesome, scared, and unsure of what comes next. Just knowing someone cares and will listen seems to be one of the many benefits of the program, for both the property owner as well as for the evaluator. I am finding it hard not to adopt each and every senior I meet!

I don’t know about you, but I had plans of kicking and screaming on the trail to elder care outside of my home. Now I know there is light near the end of this ride called life, and a caring heart and patient ear to listen to my tales.

If you know of someone who can benefit from this program, give me a call or contact Lahari directly by going to the website www.laharionorcas.org.

Cheers to the years ahead!



Filed under Community

Part One: My Perfect Birthday Weekend – Boating in the San Juan Islands

Posted by Teri

As the cooler weather creeps in, I like to assemble my favorite memories of the summer to keep me warm throughout fall and winter. Topping the list this year was my birthday weekend in late August.

Birthday Boating in the San Juan Islands

I can feel the warmth all over again when I look back at this blissful picture! My first gift was perfect weather.

It started with my husband and I sailing to Deer Harbor Marina where four of my closest friends had prepared a dockside dinner. They treated us with fresh crab, marinated local prawns, melt-in-your-mouth corn on the cob, chocolate cake from Roses Bakery and lotsa good wine. The weather was ideal for a night on the dock, and visiting boaters were friendly all around us.

Controlled burn on Yellow Island in the San Juan Islands, WA

Yellow Island on fire... on purpose

Saturday morning Jay and I headed out to sail San Juan Channel between Orcas and San Juan Island. While cruising past Yellow Island we spotted smoke and called 911. We were relieved to find out this was an annual controlled burn by the Nature Conservancy to keep the undergrowth from encroaching on the grasslands – a practice first used by Native Americans to protect camas bulbs and other food crops.

We continued out into the channel pushed by favorable warm wind. We were on the same path as the historic Adventuress and mirrored her course while feeling the pirate in our souls-arrrgh…. Only to be left behind with a few practiced tacks by the large crew aboard her deck.

Beach at Turn Island State Park, San Juan Islands WA

Approaching beach at 35-acre Turn Island State Park

Midday we headed south to hook one of the buoys located on the north side of Turn Island. The entire island is a state park with nice easy trails, camp sites, and several sandy beaches on the west side- yes I said sand!  I had just settled in with refreshment in hand, taking in the warm sea air and thinking ‘this is a great birthday’ when all of a sudden…    (To Be Continued in Part Two!)

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.


Filed under Adventure, Boating, Nature