Chromo (#126804) (1891-1895), two-masted forty-foot junk built by Chinese fishermen in San Diego and used in the guano trade. In August 1895, Chromo was seized in Ensenada under piratical Captain William ‘Billy’ Gerald for the illegal poaching of Mexican guano, but Gerald managed to escape with Chromo.
In the News~
May 3, 1893 [SFCall]: “Cruise of the Chromo. The fishing junk has a hard time down south. San Diego, May 2. — The American junk Chromo, Captain William Jerrold, returned today from a fishing cruise of forty-two days down the Lower California coast. The skipper reported very rough weather prevailing most of the time. The Chromo's sails were blown away and her yards broken. Two havens were entered, only to be driven out by the storm, and at one landing the anchor was lost.“
June 3, 1893 [Hood River Glacier]: “Fuller and Warner, two St. Louis gentlemen, with two men from San Francisco, have chartered the junks Chromo and Alta at San Diego for a trip to the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Peru, to search for treasure said to have been buried there years ago by priests of that country.“
August 20, 1895 [SFCall]: “The schooner Chromo, skipper William Gerald of this port, gave the slip to officers at Ensenada in a novel manner. Gerald has had trouble with the customs officials, but thought it smoothed over. He took down a cargo of powder and was preparing to discharge it, when he learned that the papers were being prepared to arrest him and confiscate his schooner for a former infraction of the law. He went on board and found a watch had been placed on the beach to keep the schooner in sight. The night was very dark, and he lighted a lantern as usual, hanging it to the foremast. The sentinel on shore saw it burning and thought all was well. At daybreak the next morning he saw his mistake, as Gerald during the night had quietly got out a skiff and moved the lantern to a buoy near by, where he tied it to a pole at the proper height. Then he weighed anchor and stole out of the harbor. The watchman gave the alarm and a man was sent to the top of the hill with a glass, but no schooner was in sight. Gerald is expected in this port hourly with his cargo of powder.“
November 13, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “A southeaster has been prevailing all afternoon, accompanied with dust. This is the storm that was brewing yesterday, and caused the capsizing of the Chinese junk, Chromo, which was on the way to the Hollister estate at Gaviota with a load of lumber. The junk capsized off More’s Landing. At the time of the accident there was one man on deck and two below asleep. Fortunately they escaped drowning… The Chromo had been here some time transporting guano from San Miguel Island, and Captain Ellis engaged her for this trip. He, Captain Lars and two sailors were aboard. All succeeded in reaching shore. The Chromo was drifting at the mercy of the waves at last report.”
November 13, 1895 [SFCall]: “More's Landing Disaster. Loss of a heavily laden Chinese junk and its cargo. Santa Barbara, Cal., Nov. 12. — A Chinese junk, the Chromo, under command of Captain Lars, which sailed from this port laboring under a heavy deck load of lumber for the Hollister ranch, which she was to deliver at Gaviota, capsized off More's Landing, some seven miles up the coast. The cargo was a complete loss. The fate of the junk is not yet known, but the master and crew escaped with their lives. One of the men was so chilled and exhausted that he very nearly perished.”