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My Mom and My Cabin Cruiser 600 Mile Ocean Odyssey

Updated on April 12, 2015

Glenda Fae

Glenda Fae - 28' Cabin Cruiser
Glenda Fae - 28' Cabin Cruiser

A Bonding Experience! Not for the Faint-of-Heart!

A Bonding Experience! Not for the Faint-of-Heart!

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
- Helen Keller


My mother is an amazing woman who is an example of doing the impossible. As noted in an article: Together we both completed an ocean going odyssey motoring an “up-hill” journey from Port San Luis, North to Morro Bay, Monterey Bay, Half Moon Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, up the Deep Water Channel, and then into the Delta (has 1,000 miles of shoreline) to explore the possibility of selling my boat. The area is very depressed and we decided to motor back another 300 miles to Port San Luis.

I am not an experienced ocean navigator, nor an experienced sailor. My mother simply believes in her son and did not want me to go alone. No one else would go with me. My boat is a 28-foot long cabin cruiser with a single gas engine. See: It turned into a four day trip averaging 10 miles per hour for 300 miles to the Tower Marina, Lodi, California (South of Sacramento).

The Trip – First Day, Leave Port San Luis

The trip began with the notion of going the first 170 miles the first day from Avila Beach (Port San Luis) California. In the dark on a pitch-dark foggy morning, we take the dinghy out to the cabin cruiser which is moored in the Port San Luis Bay. This is a semi-protected bay with only two buoys that have lights at the entrance. In the bay there are over a 100 boats at their moorings. There are no slips. Each boat bobs up and down on their own anchor.

After two trips to the pier to get supplies and my mother, I secured the dinghy to my cabin cruiser, tying the dinghy vertically onto my rear swim deck. As my mother unpacks and organizes the interior of the cabin, I set-up my GPS and radios for the trip. The ocean moves so much my GPS sometimes simply does a 360, getting completely confused by the constant up and down, sideways movements. I manage to establish a heading out of the Port San Luis Harbor. I can see the outline of the mountains of the Diablo Nuclear Reactor. I know I am going the right direction.

The ocean is very rough. It has huge waves that crash over my boat and pitches us around. My mom stays below. I try to go 15 miles per hour. The boat is taking a beating. I struggle to hang on the helm. I slow to 12 miles per hour. Morro Bay is only 25 miles north. I entertain the thought I may motor in to Morro Bay…

We both get violently seasick. Almost four hours later and 40 gallons of gas burned to go 25 miles, I change course to Morro Bay. We pull in exhausted. We have 280 miles to go…

Day Two Ocean Cruise:


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    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA 18 minutes ago,

      My fiancé! I am happy you read this! Know you know why mom is "hyper!" she is full of life!

      Thanks for great comments!

    • profile image 

      7 years ago


      I know what a "Special Lady" Mom is! She didn't want you to go alone . . . Mama's are like that, no matter what your age! You both shared a great experience together; sounds like a good book or movie!!! Great job Skipper!!! You can do anything!!!!

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


      My mother did tell my sister if she was going to die, she wanted to die doing what she wanted to do... An amazing lady!

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Great read. It's amazing what a mother will endure due to love of her son. Guess she thought that if you're going down she wants to go with you. I came here after reading the hub you wrote about her post trip boat nightmares which gave me an even greater appreciation of what you wrote in this hub.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


      Life is an adventure..!

      Thanks for you comments!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      What a fun adventure! I love the water, and we used to have a cuddy cabin that we really enjoyed. Rated up!

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


      Good point about the life jackets. They were always worn by both of us!

      Thanks for your comments!

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      7 years ago

      No matter whether we go it alone or with a companion, if it is on our mind, then we must make the journey regardless. I am glad to hear your pioneering mom took up the challenge to accompany her son, she could keep an eye on you and probably give you some valuable tips:-) Like wear your life jackets when the weather turns for the worst just in case ye get washed overboard, god forbid that should happen. It sounds like quite the journey you are both on together, good luck and keep us posted along the way. I wish you both a safe journey and God speed you safely to dry land at the end..Peace

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


      Moms are priceless!

      There are many people who have houseboats that live in the Sacramento Delta!

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      7 years ago from US

      Ah that's our moms, always there for us when no one else is. I think I would love to live on the water...if my boat was tied to a big tree, (or two)lol.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Nell Rose,

      My friends and loved ones all have "reasons" for not wanting to go. I was determined to go alone... I had built a 50' bamboo raft in Fiji and attempted to sail to Sydney, Australia, this was much easier... I had a motor!

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, I wonder why no one else would go with you? sounds like a great trip! I am good when the weather is choppy on the sea, but when its clear I get sea sick! should be the other way around! lol interesting adventure, cheers nell


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