Liberty and Justice: The True Nautical Story

When Captain Ryan found and fell in love with the light blue Bruce Roberts Offshore 44 ketch in 1998, she had already been named Liberty by her original owners. Who doesn’t love the idea of liberty? It’s a great name for a boat that is capable of taking you anywhere the seas flow, so Ryan didn’t even think about changing the name when he bought her. We don’t know a lot about the original owners, just that they were a German family living in South Africa during the Apartheid era. They wanted to leave but weren’t allowed to take any money with them, so they used what they had to build a boat and sailed away. From clues we’ve found aboard such as artwork and marina stickers, she went to Portugal and some other European coastal locations before crossing the Atlantic and being sold to an Annapolis area man who had intentions of cruising with her. Alas, his plans never came to fruition, so he put Liberty up for sale, and Ryan picked her up to live aboard and hopefully cruise as well. He had been looking for the perfect boat for some time, and when Liberty came along, he thought long and hard as well as consulted with trusted friends who worked in the sailing industry. It was a bit out of character to see a single young man take on a 44-foot boat rather than starting smaller, but Ryan had grown up sailing in the Annapolis area and had always wanted to live aboard and grow into a big boat.

A year or so later, Ryan introduced his friend Teresa to the boat, and by summer of 2000 they were dating and he inexplicably started calling her Mumfy. She had only been sailing once or twice before and had little interest in living aboard, but she was adventurous and open to the sailing experience in general. Ryan stoked the interest of his English teacher girlfriend by reading romantic cruising stories with her. In 2004 they married and spent time between their house in Baltimore and Liberty, which was berthed at a marina down the street. More books and more overnights in the Chesapeake Bay area continued as they crafted a plan to check out the Caribbean before having children.

In December 2005, they set out from Baltimore on Liberty, headed down the Chesapeake Bay, then picked up the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) as they made their way South. With a fun-filled month in St. Augustine, two weeks out at sea, a broken autopilot, and gallons of (Mumfy’s) vomit behind them, they sailed through the Anegada Passage and felt the Trade Winds of the Virgin Islands welcome them to an adventure that has been going strong for over 15 years.

In that time, they sailed to and from Trinidad, Manhattan, the Chesapeake Bay, and everywhere in between while raising their two daughters, teaching and writing (Mumfy), playing music professionally (Ryan), starting a successful day sailing charter business, and dodging two cat 5 hurricanes. As their kids grew, so did their need for a different sort of boat. In May of 2019, they purchased their Red Hook, St Thomas neighbor’s boat Scubadu, also a charter boat. Unlike Liberty, Scubadu was a catamaran and often incorporated diving and overnight sails with their single captain host. With great respect to the powers that be, Ryan and Mumfy held a name changing ceremony that would bring their beloved catamaran into the family fold so to speak and reflect the times they were living in. Acknowledging that there is no real liberty without justice, a new era in the Sail with Liberty family began. Liberty continued to host up to six guests for an active cruise ship clientele, while Justice stuck to larger parties often originating from villa recommendations and an active web presence. While the kids went to school, Justice would host gourmet meals and exotic snorkeling destinations before returning to prepare for family dinner and homework time.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cruise ships were forbidden to operate, so Liberty became home once again to the kids during virtual school time while Justice resumed her active day charter trips to St. John, USVI. With the kids preparing to go back to school in person, Liberty needed a new purpose. She holds so many memories for the Diehl family, but it was time for her to move on and be loved by someone new. A family of educators with two little girls fell in love with her and were thrilled to make her their home in August of 2021. Liberty has truly been a “giving tree,” providing freedom, adventure, a livelihood, and a home for out-of-the-box dreamers and sailors for nearly four decades.