Convoy~

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Convoy (#5161) (?-1884), 45-foot wood-hulled 15.26 ton schooner used by Hiram W. Mills in 1880 to haul sheep from San Miguel Island. George Nidever was her master for a time, followed by Captain George Ellis. In 1883 Mills sold Convoy to the Rogers Brothers for $1250. Among other activities, she was used to transport Chinese to San Nicolas Island for the abalone trade. Convoy was wrecked off the northwest point of Santa Rosa Island in a southeast gale on January 27, 1884 when her rudder broke and she became unmanageable. Captain George Ellis and his crew were returned to Santa Barbara by Captain Higgins on the Star of Freedom.


In the News~

June 14, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, sailed for Anacapa Island this forenoon. Mr. S. W. Barnard took passage on her to San Nicolas Island where he goes to search for Indian relics.”


September 26, 1880 [LAH]: “Sailed September 21st, schooner Convoy, Mills, Master, for San Miguel Island.”


October 25, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, H. W. Mills, Captain, arrived from San Miguel Island Sunday morning having a hundred fat sheep on board for the Santa Barbara butchers.”


November 8, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday morning.”


March 25, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy from Santa Catalina Island arrived last night with sheep and wool.”


April 11, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy arrived from San Nicolas Island this morning.”


April 30, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy arrived here yesterday from San Miguel Island. She brought with her the schooner Surprise, which went ashore on the island some time since, and was given up by her owner as a total loss. A few repairs will place the Surprise in as fine trim as ever.”


May 7, 1881 [SBWP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Thompson, arrived here yesterday from San Miguel Island. She brought with her the schooner Surprise which went ashore on the island some time since, and was given up by her owner as a total loss. A few repairs will place the Surprise in as fine trim as ever.”


May 27, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, arrived from St. Nicolas Island.”


May 31, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday.”


June 13, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy will sail tomorrow morning for Anacapa Island.”


June 14, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, sailed for Anacapa Island this forenoon. Mr. S. W. Barnard took passage on her to San Nicolas Island where he goes to search for Indian relics.”


June 20, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, arrived Saturday from St. Nicholas Island.”


June 22, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy sailed for San Miguel Island last night with calves and horses. On her return the latter part of this week, she will make a trip to Anacapa Island seal hunting.”


July 16, 1881 [SBDP]: “Thursday last the schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, brought twelve sea lions over from the island. They are to be shipped to San Francisco this evening on the Senator.”


July 23, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, arrived from St. Nicolas Island yesterday, with a cargo of sea lions and seal oil, which is to be shipped to San Francisco.”


July 28, 1881 [SBDP]: “We understand that Mr. George Nidever and a party of gentlemen have chartered the schooner Convoy, and are fitting her up for an otter hunt. They will start in a few days, and will hunt along up the coast as far as Monterey Bay.”


October 26, 1881 [SBDP]: “Four schooners are in the harbor, the Star of Freedom, Convoy, Surprise, and Santa Rosa.”


November 8, 1881 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy arrived from the islands on Sunday and discharged yesterday. She brought 100 sacks of abalone shells.”


December 31, 1881 [LAH]: “Arrived December 29, schooner Convoy, Mills, Master, from Santa Barbara Island.”


February 13, 1882 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, arrived Saturday from Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands with fifteen sea lions on board, to be shipped to San Francisco on the Orizaba tomorrow evening.”


August 10, 1882 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain W. H. Mills, sailed last evening on a cruise down the coast. Her object is otter hunting.”


August 26, 1882 [SFDEB]: “Schooner Convoy, [Captain] Beck, 10 days from San Miguel Island; produce to Wm. H Mills.”


October 6, 1882 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Mills, arrived here last night from San Francisco. She has been down the coast otter hunting, and brought back sixteen otter skins.”


March 12, 1883 [SBDP]: “The Convoy has on board 250 sacks of abalones and shells from San Nicolas Island.”


March 17, 1883 [SBWP]: “Several schooners arrived in the channel Saturday and are now anchored near the wharf. The Convoy has on board 250 sacks of abalones and shells from San Nicolas Island…”


April 7, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy from the islands arrived at the wharf yesterday with a cargo of wool.”


April 26, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy brought last week from Anacapa Island thirty live seals. Two of the bull seals were the largest ever brought over from the islands. They were shipped to San Francisco, part of them to be placed in the Woodward Gardens and the balance to be shipped to New York.”


August 28, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy just arrived from Wilmington. It has been lying up for repairs at that place, and is entirely renovated and freshly painted, green with a white streak. It looks quite pretty and Captain Nidever says he is now ready for his regular coasting trips.”


June 21, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain George Nidever, returned yesterday from a six weeks voyage after sea otters. The captain reports a rough voyage; soon after leaving port a strong southeast wind blew them as far north as Monterey where they commenced to work southward. During their trip they have succeeded in killing fifteen fine sea otter, each skin is of a fine quality and it is said range in price from $45 to $80 each. At a medium price, say $50, a skin the voyage would not pay large profits to the five men engaged in the hunt. Otter hunting is a slow and tedious business and requires a sharp quick eye and a sure hand to the rifle. The animals are timid as well as cunning and seldom expose much more than the nose above the water. The skins are at the store of Rogers Bros., and are a fine lot of pelts. The hunters report otter along the coast as becoming quite scarce and very difficult to kill.”


June 21, 1883 [SBDP]: “Thirteen of the fifteen otter skins brought in by the Convoy were sold yesterday for $650.”


July 10, 1883 [SBDI]: “Rogers Brothers have purchased the schooner Convoy from Mr. Mills. She came over from the islands this morning, and will make numerous trips from this on, back and forth.”


July 11, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy started for Anacapa Island last evening, but encountered a calm just beyond the kelp and had to remain there until this morning, when they again set sail.”


July 14, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy has returned from Anacapa Island with a cargo of skins, wool and oil for Mr. Elliott.”


July 14, 1883 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy came into port today from Anacapa Island with a cargo including 11 barrels of seal oil, 25 sacks of abalone shells, 2 tons of seal skins, 10 sacks of dried abalones and one ton of wool.”


July 17, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy has again been fitted out for a otter hunting expedition by Rogers Brothers, and she started for the Islands today.”


July 20, 1883 [LAT]: “The schooner Convoy came into port yesterday from Anacapa Island with a cargo including eleven barrels of seal oil, 25 sacks of abalone shells, 2 tons of seal skins, 10 sacks of dried abalones, and one ton of wool.”


July 27, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, formerly the property of W. H. Mills, has been transferred to Mr. Ellis, who is now sole owner of the craft aforesaid.”


August 9, 1883 [SBI]: “The schooner Convoy Captain Ellis, arrived from San Miguel Tuesday with six fine otter skins. She was to leave today for Anacapa to bring over a cargo of sheep.”


August 11, 1883 [SBI]: “The schooner Convoy arrived from Anacapa loaded with sheep this morning.”


August 11, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy will leave today for Wilmington to go on the dry dock for repairs. She will be thoroughly overhauled, caulked, etc.”


September 6, 1883 [SBDI]: “The sloop Convoy has gone over to San Miguel Island for the purpose of bringing over a party of otter hunters employed by the Rogers Brothers. The present season has been a very successful and profitable one for the hunters.”


September 13, 1883 [SBDI]: “The sloop Convoy sailed for the islands yesterday.”


October 2, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy of Rogers Brothers, arrived yesterday evening from San Miguel Island with a crew of otter hunters bringing six otters.”


October 8, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy has gone out to Saint Nicolas Island with a party of Chinese fishermen.”


November 11, 1883 [LAT]: “Otter hunting. The sharp-shooters of the Santa Barbara Channel… Rifles of the very finest make are required, and some of the weapons brought into requisition are beautiful specimens of the gun maker’s art. The firm of Rogers Brothers of this city, have now three parties upon the islands of San Miguel, San Nicolas and others. They are taken over and left upon these islands on the schooner Convoy, belonging to this energetic firm, who keep a vessel employed attending to their abalone, seal and otter operations… About the most expert of the sharp-shooters in this business is George Nidever, now upon the islands. His father, now dead, was also an expert hunter, and the first man to shoot otters on this coast…”


November 11, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy of this place is now at San Diego and sails for Mexican waters on a fishing cruise at an early date.”


November 20, 1883 [SBDI]: “Captain George F. Ellis of the schooner Convoy arrived on the steamer from the south yesterday.”


November 28, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, of Rogers Brothers, sailed for Anacapa Island today on a fishing cruise.”


December 12, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy arrived from the Islands this morning.”


December 14, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy is in port with a cargo of dried fish. She sails for San Miguel for otter hunters tomorrow.”


December 16, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, which has sailed for otter hunters at San Miguel Island, is expected back in a few days.”


December 21, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, returned from the Islands last night bringing two otter hunting parties from unusually successful excursions. One party under the charge of Antonio Cavalleri secured seventeen fine skins, being the best catch ever done in the same length of time in those waters. George Nidever’s party brought back nine pelts which is by no means a poor result. The hunters have returned from their lonely haunts to spend the holidays, and their good luck will serve to make them sympathize with the folks on shore who are jubilant over equal good fortune in having a fine rain.”


December 29, 1883 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy sails today for Anacapa Island with a sealing party sent out by Rogers Brothers.”


January 4, 1884 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy is preparing for sea. The vessel will take a party of otter hunters in a few days.”


January 15, 1884 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, sailed today for the islands on an otter hunting cruise and will be gone two months or so.”


January 19, 1884 [DAC]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, sailed from Santa Barbara on the 15th instant for the Islands on an otter hunting cruise, and will be gone two months or so.”


January 28, 1884 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, is at San Miguel Island hunting otter, securing sea lions and gathering abalones. Due at this place within a month.”


February 6, 1884 [SBDI]: “The schooner Convoy broke her rudder in the late southeast gale and became unmanageable. Captain Ellis let go his anchors in eight fathoms of water, but the storm became too severe and she parted her cables and went ashore January 27th a total wreck. The crew came home in an otter boat from San Miguel.”


February 6, 1884 [SBDP]: “The schooner Convoy, Captain Ellis, was lost in the recent storm. On Sunday, January 27, she broke her rudder and became unmanageable. The Captain and crew came home in an otter boat, from the Isand of San Miguel, arriving here this morning. The schooner was of sixteen tons burthen, of the value of about two thousand dollars, belonged to Rogers Bros., of this city, and was not insured. She has been engaged in otter hunting off the Santa Barbara chain of islands. A week ago last Sunday, as will be remembered by all, the weather was stormy and the sea running very high. At that time the Convoy, as well as all small craft plying in the waters of the channel, was hovering close off the islands or keeping out to sea, and in pitching from crest to trough she became disabled and the schooner was at the mercy of the tossing sea. That the crew escaped without any serious injury or loss of life seems marvelous, but none suffered except from cold, hardship and possibly hunger.”


February 6, 1884 [SBDI]: “The security of the islands as against Santa Barbara is illustrated by the wreck of the Convoy and the blowing out of the main sail of the Star of Freedom.”


February 14, 1884 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King, Captain Larco, set sail for San Miguel Island yesterday morning, having on board Dr. H. Mills, wife and child, and Captain Ellis of the wrecked Convoy, as passengers. Dr. Mills with his family intends to live on the island, and will set up a comfortable home, having taken with him a quantity of household furniture and paraphernalia. Captain H. W. Mills, father of Dr. Mills, who is now at the island, will return on the sloop. Captain Ellis has gone over to the island to look after the Convoy that was noted in the press some time ago.”


February 21, 1884 [SBDP]: “The sloop Ocean King, Captain Larco, arrived from San Miguel Island about 1:30 this morning with fresh fish. Captain Ellis, who went over on the sloop to look after the wreck of the Convoy, says that they were unable to get anywhere near it, on account of prevailing wind.”


February 21, 1884 [SBDI]: “Captain Ellis, who went in the Ocean King to the scene of the wreck of the Convoy to endeavor to recover property left on the island, has returned. Owing to the waves it was impossible to get within a mile of shore.”


February 25, 1884 [SBDP]: The Ocean King sailed today for Anacapa Island, taking to the mainland the balance of the crew of the wrecked Convoy.”


March 28, 1884 [SBDP]: “The schooner Don George, Captain Ellis, came into port Saturday, and yesterday sailed again for San Miguel Island to look after the wreck of the Convoy.”


April 1, 1884 [SBDP]: “The schooner Don George, Captain Ellis, came into port Saturday, and yesterday sailed again for San Miguel Island to look after the wreck of the Convoy.”


April 29, 1884 [SBDI]: “Captains Ellis and Thompson have just arrived from San Francisco and brought the schooner Angel Dolly to take the place of the Convoy…”


November 23, 1901 [SBMP]: “Beach scenery at Santa Rosa Island. Captain Frank Thompson’s latest painting, a bit of rough beach scenery in Convoy Cove, Santa Rosa Island, is displayed in the window of the Great Wardrobe. The picture is remarkable true to life. The sloping beach lying at the foot of towering cliffs forms the foreground. Half embedded in the sand are the bones of the schooner Convoy, which was lost there some years ago. The almost dismembered bow timbers stand grim and lonely, a fitting adjunct to the wild surroundings. In the middle ground of the picture a heavy surf is pounding the beach, a typical scene at this point a great part of the year. In the background surrounded by the peculiar haze of island coast, is the point at the end of the island. Around the cliffs gulls are winging, and one is perched naturally on the topmost timber of the wreck. The loss of the schooner Convoy occurred not many years ago, and is well remembered by channel navigators. She was a small schooner, a little larger than the Restless, Captain Burtis, which has been plying between this port and Santa Rosa Island for the past two years. The Convoy was lying at anchor in the cove, afterward named for her wreck, when a storm came on. Captain George Ellis, owner of the vessel, was aboard… Today the last of the bones of the ill fated Convoy still mark the beach in that cove. They lie about a mile and a half from the famous wreck of the Goldenhorn, and about the same distance from the east end of the island.”