When my dear friend Holly called and asked if the Murphy’s would like to join them in St. Thomas and St. John on their 45-foot Catamaran, The Orion, in April, I was quiet. This was nothing I had ever dreamt of doing. And as amazing as this sounded, my brain immediately went to motion sickness and claustrophobia. Holly assured me that “all would be OK”. And after 50 years of friendship, I wholeheartedly believed her and started to get excited about this unexpected adventure.

A week before leaving, we had just relocated my 93-year old mom, Charlotte, from Bridgeport, CT to Charleston, SC, where my sister and her family live. My mom really needed a change, and within 3 weeks we made it happen – from concept to completion! It was a huge push for us all, and a very big lifestyle change as well. So little did we know in the beginning of March, that all this would take place, and a much needed vacation would follow.

Upon return from South Carolina, we had less than a week to prep for our getaway. Rick, Conor and I are fully vaccinated, but still needed to take quick turn-around Covid tests right before flying, and needed to fill out an online verification form for St. Thomas in order to enter. As we disembarked the plane in St. Thomas, American soldiers were waiting for us all to show ID, proof of the online form, and took our temps. We were cleared, and happy to know that our fellow passengers were also!

Holly and Bruce, along with Jim and Julie (another couple from home), waited for us on the boat in the harbour. The next morning we would set sail for St. John! 7 days on a boat was a first for all of us Murphy’s…and we lived in the moment, relishing everything. Captain Bruce sailed us to beautiful bays, and moored us in a new spot every other day. We snorkeled and discovered all varieties of coral, sea fans, fish, sting rays, barracuda, fabulous sea turtles, an octopus, and 3′-4′ Tarpon settled under our boat. Each and every sunset was stunning, and we ladies all slept outside on deck under zillions of stars every night (so what if there was a shower or two?). It was divine. The boat is named ‘The Orion’, so we would scope out that constellation as a nightly ritual.

Of course this is the Cliff Notes version of our fabulous get away. After a year of hunkering down, and not traveling any distance, this was an amazing gift for our little family to spend such quality time together, with our dear friends, and make 2 new friends…an incredible week that we will never forget. And because I know we have all been stuck in the “same boat” due to Covid-19, I wanted to share a little beauty from the outside world…a place quite a ways from my beloved home of Connecticut. Many thanks to our son Conor who may have packed more camera equipment than clothes, I think. His underwater photos, as well as some amazing shots from his drone truly inspire. (The boy’s got an eye!)

Please enjoy Conor’s view of St. John, USVI!

Much love, Nora

(P.S. This Saturday’s new Hunt Club Collection is totally inspired by our trip!)


  1. Irene Kelly on April 22, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Oh Good for you and your family ! So glad you enjoyed and did not get sea sick ! And so nice to hear there are others out there that are doing things to relieve the stress of a pandemic. Take Good Care and continue to Have Fun !

  2. Anita Kretzmann on April 23, 2021 at 12:28 am

    How wonderful! Very happy that you and your boys got such a well-deserved break in paradise.

  3. Lorraine Spenle on April 23, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Wonderful news all happy and good too what we all need to hear !…love the photos beautiful photography !

  4. Diane Ruebel on April 23, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Such a delight to share Conor’s connection to St Thomas which invites us to participate. Sleeping under the stars with the lapping of the sea is truly a wonder. Thank you for transporting us there. Diney on Camano Island

  5. J. E. Reilly on April 23, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    St. John is my heaven on earth place.
    I’ve been dreaming of when I can return.
    So wonderful for you that you got to get away!

  6. Judy Meagher on April 23, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    I’m just SO happy for you, dear Nora! What a beautiful and well-deserved getaway for you and your fellas! I hope that your mom is very happy in her new home—I think of her often. Blessings to you, my dear! XO, Judy

  7. Holly A Kerns on April 26, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    Ahoy Matey, It was our great joy to have you and your family aboard. Love you all dearly, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer Holly & Captain Bruce

  8. Barbara Hulsey on May 12, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    My husband and I lived on St Thomas for five years while he worked for Ritz Carlton.. I am so glad you were able to experience the beauty of the USVI.

  9. Linda A Kellogg on May 28, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    What a lovely adventure!

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