The Elkins Round-the-World Voyage

August 13, 2000



Dear Friends 13.14S 163.06W we are at Suwarrow. It is kind of a Gilligan's Island. There is a small home that was blown in and a boat on the beach that has a tarp on it and I guess it is a well boat but from a distance it looks tattered. There is a small sandy beach with a rock quarry that got destroyed by heavy seas from a hurricane. There is a reef that comes quite a ways out - only about a foot of water to get your dinghy up to shore. So you get out and pull it in. On shore there are 3 hammocks and a picnic table and a cook place for picnics. In farther is a house for the caretakers (about 3 bedrooms), a front room with books for the yachties to swap books and no furniture.  There are beds - make shift foam on board frames.They have misquito netting on them. There is an outdoor toilet by the beach. Tom Neal lived here three different times. But to no avail - the things he built kept being torn down by wind and sea. There is still a building they thought to be his kitchen, out back of the house.

We walked on some of the trails and found a little bunk by the sea with a thatched roof for shade. There was a family that lived here with kids who survived a hurricane here by tying themselves in rubber trees - very stout heavy duty trees. The Father, Robert Frisbie, wrote a book - see if you can find something by him or daughter, Johnny Frisbie.

Dan and I went for a walk around the Motu (island), was nice.We met some people ashore. Reese and Cathy are here to count birds for a voluntary project for the Cook government. So there is no care takers here to collect money. We met Mary Francis and three boys who started from San Diego like we did who did the Baha.  They went to Raratonga and brought the Bird people in here. The bird people hadn't sailed before and got rather sick. They had 4 barrels to bring with them also. Upon getting here they had to hoveto outside because the weather was too bad to enter the pass.

We also met another boat, Red Boomer, from Australia - 70'.   This fellow and daughter, Bill and Evette, have sailed around three times. They had picked up two crew boys along the way. Quite interesting people. So we decided to have a potluck on the beach the next night.  It rained on and off all day and about 6:00 that evening we proceeded with our picnic. Two of the boys had guitars and played and sang. There was ribs, coleslaw, pumpkin, potatoes, baked beans, and chicken and dumplings. It was 10:00 before we decided to go back to the boat. It only rained once while we where at the picnic.

Today we went ashore with Tucumcarrie - we were going to walk the reef to the other island. Was too high of water and too swift - not a good time.   Dan walked out on the reef and played by himself for awhile. He saw some bright green Parrot fish and watched them. Then we walked around the end of the island and back to the beach. Visited with others on the beach. Back to the boat and invited Bob & Cin from Tucumcarrie to watch a movie. Oh I had some of that Sailfish for dinner the other night - was pretty good. Our other friends Fantom, Astrolabe and Kookaburra are on their way from Bora Bora. They have 3 more days to go. Don't know if we will be here that long though. Dan needs Coca cola so will be moving on to American Samoa. Till Later Dan and Sandy

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TomNeale.jpg (8024 bytes) In the 1950s Suwarrow achieved fame as the home of the New Zealand hermit, Tom Neale, who stayed alone there from 1952 to 1954 and again from 1960 to 1963. His experiences were documented in his book "An Island to Oneself".  There is also a website which specializes in lauding Tom Neale.








PukaPuka.jpg (15892 bytes) "The Book of Puka-Puka"
by Robert Dean Frisbie, 1995

ISBN: 0935180273
Click here to buy a copy

About The Book:
Lone trader on a South Sea atoll, Ropati tells charmingly of his first years on PukaPuka, where he was destined to rear five half-Polynesian children.







ParrotFish.jpg (18773 bytes) The Parrot Fish covers themselves with a jelly-like substance at nights to protect themselves against external effects. This substance camouflages the fish and protects it against its enemies which are active at night and pose a threat for it.