Sea Lion Jumped Aboard Godfrey's Sailboat in SoCal Waters, 1980s

In putting together two pages on Godfrey Stephen’s little sailboat for Tiny Homes On the Move, I came across this photo (in the 600+ photos he has sent me over the years), and asked him about it. This happened in the ’80s, when he was sailing down the Pacific Coast for Mexico.

Lloyd, after leaving Avalon, Santa Catalina…I anchored for the night off Dana Point.… Under way early in the madrugada (way way more beautiful a word for dawn), this little Merbeing, after several attempts, came bashing with a huge splat right under the safety pipe rails onto the steel deck. I raced  below looking for the camera, wood stove going, coffee on the make, self steering set, (my sailboat) s/v Mungo sliding toward San Diego. In the noise of looking for the camera, this creature (later told is a stellar sea lion by its ears )
found her way to the top of the hard dodger.

   On stepping into the cockpit, what greeted me was a growl and very bad breath!  After a while shooing her away because, if the boat jibed, the mains’l boom would have clocked her. Chasing her flopping up the deck to the starboard bow. She started sleeping. I stroked her incredibly soft fur.  Nothing to feed her.

   In the quiet of sailing, I could could feel her heart beat (faintly echoing) in the metal deck. She slipped silently over the side just off the Scripps Institute—amazing. Suddenly I felt so incredibly alone.

7 Responses to Sea Lion Jumped Aboard Godfrey's Sailboat in SoCal Waters, 1980s

  1. Anonymous says:

    wow…amazing.. Godfrey was SO fortunate..

  2. Great story. I'm sure the sea lion appreciated the opportunity for a nap on a sunny deck.

  3. Meghan says:

    What an amazing story!

  4. Kev Alviti says:

    What a great experience!

  5. Such a beautifully written moment, one eye blink of what we can barely imagine of Godfrey's stories.

  6. JoLynn E says:

    Beautiful story! It is amazing how simple company can mean so much, and that it is hard to realize it before it is gone.

  7. Ronjf1 says:

    Here is a more recent occurrence of the same:

    Beautiful longing in either situation.

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