Meet Our Captains
San Juan Ferry & Barge General Manager and barge captain Marty Starr was born and raised on San Juan Island. He grew up working the local island waters in the early 70's with his father on commercial salmon gillnetters, purse seine boats and reefnet boats. In 1985, he began sailing offshore as mate for Foss Maritime on ocean going tugs, sailing in waters from Florida to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. He later spent 10 years working as mate aboard fishing vessels in the Bering Sea for Glacier Fish Co.
In 1998, he left deep water sailing to work nearer to his home, his wife, and their three 7th-generation Island daughters. Since 2001, he has been sailing as captain with San Juan Ferry & Barge, transporting freight throughout the San Juan Islands.
Captain Austin Murphy was born and raised on Guemes Island. His love for the sea began at a young age--from fishing with family and friends to sailing small boats on Fidalgo Bay, he was never far from the water. After school he joined his father building and retrofitting yachts in Anacortes, but always wanted a life at sea. He later spent time commercial fishing in Bristol Bay Alaska and Prince William Sound.
In 2016, he and his wife Elise bought a 37ft sailing yacht and spent 2 years outfitting it for ocean voyaging, sailing south from Anacortes to Mexico and as far west as Tahiti, 10,000 nautical miles in total.
While it was the trip of a lifetime, they realized that returning to the San Juan Islands was what they really wanted. They returned to Anacortes in the fall of 2021, and Austin began his work as captain of the M/V Nordland II.
Growing up fishing and crabbing with his dad in the San Juan Islands, Nathan developed a passion for the water at a young age.
His professional career in the maritime industry began 10 years ago working in water taxi services. He later transitioned to the barge industry with plans to maintain and further his knowledge of the local waters.
Nathan joined San Juan Ferry & Barge in the summer of 2022. As a captain with several years of barge work experience, he intends to live his life as a local mariner, transporting freight to the community to help keep the local lifestyle a reality.