The Elkins Round-the-World Voyage

March 15, 1999

San Diego, California

We are presently in San Diego, California. We sailed from Seattle to San Francisco last August. In March 1999 we continued to San Diego.

The sail to S.F. was real nice, as we went out 150 miles & sailed about 1000 miles & under the Golden Gate, which is a real experience. The last day before reaching S.F. we were caught by a cold front, that we knew had been coming down on us the whole way. We have a weather fax on board that runs off our computer SSB radio, so we can keep an eye on the changes in the weather.

We were unable to outrun the weather and got caught in 35-45 knot winds & had a pretty wild ride for about 16 hrs, before the storm finally subsided. Otherwise it was so nice out there that we didn't even play the radio for 5 days. It took us 7 days to sail there, averaging 8 knots.

The trip from S.F. to S.D. was much wilder, as we got into high seas right out under the bridge. We had 10-15 foot seas & 25 knots winds, for about 3 days. Everyone was seasick, but the worst was yet to come. The weather changed without warning & turned into a typhoon on Easter weekend. We were right in between the Channel Islands. at about 3 in the afternoon & choose to run with it. It lasted all night till about 6 in the morning. We had to hand steer as high winds had snapped off the wind vane the day before.

The winds reached 70 knots & our boat speed was over 14 knots (the gauge only goes to 14). The boat handled it just fine, but our spirits were wounded a little. The next day we let our daughter & son in-law off at Los Angeles. This was their first offshore sail, needless to say our son in-law is not interested in sailing anymore, anyplace. Can't say as I blame him as we were all put to the test, & it wasn't pretty. We sailed the next day to Catalina Island and had a real nice visit.

We made the decision to go for San Diego the next morning, knowing there was a small weather window, but felt we could make the 80 miles before it soured. Got up at three in the morning & took off, did fine all day till the last 4 hours. You guessed it, 25 miles out we got caught with a little rain, wind, but was short lived & we made it in the slip by 8 that night.

We spent the next two weeks fixing things & healing up. Then we saw a small weather window, so we sailed south. We had a real nice sail for the day & settled in for the night. But the weather started to build & by 9:00 PM ,the winds were 35-45 knot and continued all night. In the morning we saw that the dinghy had broke loose from waves breaking over the bow all night. I had stored six 5-gallon jugs of diesel under the dinghy. They were loose also & spilled diesel over the deck. We hooved to & I went forward to secure everything, but got drenching wet & covered with diesel.

When our windvane broke again, my wife said she wasn't interested in hand steering for 30 days. Then the bilge alarm went off, & I found that we had been heeled over so far that the sink had spilled over the top & filled the bilge up, as the pump had blown a fuse. I fixed that & decided that was enough. We went back to San Diego, only 200 miles away.

We now plan to stay in San Diego until October 26th, and then sail to Mexico. We hope to continue our voyage by crossing the Pacific in March. Until then, I am available to help sawmills and saw filers who need an experienced head filer. I can help with new installations, special projects or short term relief filing. I can be reached by E-mail at The message should be brief with no attachments, as this link is a non-profit, slow speed transmission service.

Dan & Sandy Elkins

Temporarily in San Diego, California

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Dan and Sany Elkins at  Coronado Island in San Diego, California
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Dan on the boat that was used in the Kevin Costner movie "Waterworld"