Dazzler Crew

Thanks for your visiting DazzlersWatch. We are thrilled to have you join us on our adventures. We’re having a ball traveling aboard Dazzler and seeing the many wonders life on the sea has to share. Here’s a little insight into the Dazzler Crew.

Captain Dan Morrison

U. S. C. G. 100 Ton Captain

I was born and raised in the desert community of Indio, CA in 1958. So how did this desert rat find himself living on a boat? Where did the notion of sailing around the world on a boat come from?

In 1977, I learned to Scuba dive and spent the next 9 years diving all over southern California.  I had the privilege of diving all eight northern and southern Channel Islands as well as many southern California beaches.  I spent many hours aboard various dive boats while going to and from the islands.  Needless to say, this experience provided me with the beginning of a love for the ocean and boating.

In 1985, I became a California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer.  My first assignment was in El Centro, CA.  After my initial assignment, I transferred to the Indio CHP Station where I continued to work until 1997.  I then transferred to the Border Division Office in San Diego where I spent two years as a Staff Officer.  In 1999, I transferred to the Altadena CHP Office where I first met Officer Michael Clarke and others.  I must say that of all the offices I had previously worked at none compared to the camaraderie that I experienced at this office. 

In 2000, I transferred the Newhall Area office where I began to ride motorcycles for the CHP.  Of all the positions that I held as an officer, I loved this position the most. It seemed like I fit the position like peas and carrots.  I was now riding a motorcycle like many great officers before me and my carrier had touched the very core of the CHP.  In 2003, I transferred for the last time to the West Los Angeles Area Office where I continued to ride a Departmental motorcycle.  At the same time as this transfer, I had moved aboard Dazzler.

In 2003, I went through a life-changing event.  The change required that I seek a new place to live.  A good friend, Michael Clarke, suggested that I spend a weekend with him and his wife on their live aboard sailboat in Marina del Rey, CA.

It was after my visit with Michael and his wife, Susan, that I began to explore the possibilities of life aboard a boat and I began to search for a sailboat as a residence.  I looked at nearly 600 boats at YachtWorld.com.  I physically inspected about 50-60 boats before finding Dazzler in Dana Point, CA.  After purchasing Dazzler, I moved her to my new home in Marina del Rey, CA.

Dazzler 1
Dazzler…The Early Days.

During the early days of boat ownership, I spent my weekends reading about sailing, boat handling and exploring the various parts of my vessel.  My knowledge of boating, sailing and boat maintenance accelerated rapidly by leaps and bounds.  Through hard work and dedication to my new lifestyle and my passion for sailing, I became a source of information to other friends and boaters.

September 30, 2008, I retired from the CHP and began the fulltime project of re-fitting, upgrading and preparing Dazzler for a world journey.  Through many long days, long hours and lots of money, Dazzler was finally ready for a journey to exotic ports, islands, countries and eventually around the world.

During the summer of 2009, I completed an 88-hour study course to obtain a United States Coast Guard Master Captains license.  Although not needed for my journey, I felt that obtaining my Captain’s license would have many benefits for my future in the boating community.

Jilly Morrison, Best Mate

I was born in Erwin, TN in the late 60’s. When I was five my family moved to Bradenton, FL which is where I spent most of my life. Bradenton is a beautiful place with some of the most amazing beaches in the world so my love of beaches and the water started at a very young age.

My father was an avid boater who raced snipes on Lake Michigan as a kid so we always had boats in our family. From the time I was old enough to sit at the wheel he was teaching me how to drive a boat, flemish a line and read a chart. He did that with all of us so I guess it could be said that boating is in my blood.

I went to college in Atlanta, GA and got a degree in Commercial Photography and Marketing from Dekalb College and Gwinett Tech. My love of adventure and the outdoors was further cultivated during my five years there. I spent weekends camping, hiking, rock climbing, spelunking, whitewater rafting, canoeing and so much more. In college I took every possible “adventure” class I could take. I loved the challenge and the risks.

After college I moved back to my hometown and started working in the real world. I have to tell you, it wasn’t nearly as exciting as my college years but you know, you have to make a living somehow. Throughout my career I worked in a variety of different professions. I spent most of my working years in real estate, construction, banking and law. While I never actually became a professional photographer or marketer, I used my education in each and every job along the way. My father used to jokingly say, “Her mother and I spent tens of thousands of dollars to send her to college to take the best family pictures money can buy.” He had an amazing sense of humor!

Like I said, I’ve spent practically my entire life on the water. Mom & Dad had everything from a houseboat to small powerboats to large powerboats and my dad even had a large sailboat for a while. Whatever boat he and mom had was always ours to enjoy as well. All of us learned a great appreciation for boating and the hard work it takes to keep a boat shipshape.

After meeting Dan in 2015 a great childhood friend, Virginia, suggested that I get in touch with her brother, Tom. He was the Commodore of the Bradenton Yacht Club at the time and he also organized the sailboat races for the club. When we were just little kids we carpooled together to elementary school but I hadn’t seen Tom in many, many years. Virginia gave him my number and he called the next day to invite me sailing with some friends of his. It was my reintroduction into sailing. We had a great time and soon I became a part of the Silver Streak crew. Silver Streak, Tom’s boat, is a J24 and I loved every second of racing on her. Tom and the rest of the crew taught me a lot about sailing.

Ladies at the Helm 5
Ladies At The Helm 2016…Silver Streak takes 2nd Place!

They even invited me to be the helmswoman during the “Ladies at the Helm” race in 2016. We took 2nd place! It was pretty exciting for me as Tom even mentioned my Dad during the awards ceremony. Dad and Mom were pretty well known at the BYC over the years. Until the day I moved onto Dazzler I kept my metal hanging over a sailing photo of my dad.

So how did I end up on Dazzler? Well, the short version is that my cousins suggested I friend Dan on Facebook. They thought we would be perfect for each other. I really wasn’t certain about it at first. After all, he lived on his boat in México and I lived in Florida, but after seeing his FB page I decided to send a friend request. Several days later he responded and from there things just happened. We dated long distance for almost two years. I went to México to see him twice and he went to Florida to meet my family. We just clicked. And before I knew what happened we were in love and he asked me to retire and move aboard. (For more on our “back story”, Click Here.)

So, here I am living in paradise on a truly beautiful ship with my husband, the man of my dreams. It just doesn’t get better than this!

2 thoughts on “Dazzler Crew

  1. Hi Dan,
    Mark sent me this link, so been checking out Dazzlers travels.
    Glad to see she’s doing what she was made to do and the boat has worked
    out so well for you. I currently have a Beneteau First405, which is in Ensenada
    getting the bottom done. That’s about as far away from Dana Point as I get!
    Dazzlers former owner,
    Dick Widdowson

  2. Hi Dick, not a timely response. Hope all is well. Yes, Dazzler is treating us well. Everything I expected and more. She is still going strong. Hope you are still enjoying the water as well. Cheers! Dan

    PS Do you recall if the name Dazzler has anything to do with Jack London’s book?

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