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Linda and Fleetwing (right) inside Bird Rock, Santa Catalina Island
Arch Rock on Santa Catalina Island with
yachting party in schooner Fleetwing in the background, c.1905
photo by Charles C. Pierce

Fleetwing (#) (fl. 1890s)

In the News~

March 12, 1895 [LAH]: “...The Linda carried a lively party of twenty-five and a hamper of luncheon along the Catalina coast as far as the isthmus, where a delighful day was spent. The Fleetwing conveyed a number of visitors to Seal Rocks and around the lower end of the island...”

April 2, 1895 [LAH]: “Catalina. Avalon, April 1.—...The Linda was busy all day conveying visitors to the isthmus and Seal Rocks. The Fleetwing steamed in and out the bay with all colors flying, while skiffs and sailboats with parties aboard flitted about. The Chinese junk Hongkong, from San Diego, which has been anchored in the bay for several days and is affording much entertainment for island visitors, had all her gorgeous colors hoisted...”

August 2, 1896 [SFCall]: “Notes from Avalon. Avalon, Catalina Island, July 22.— ...Messrs. Stuart and son, W. S. Gilmore and Ray Hutchins of Pasadena went out in the Fleetwing yesterday and brought back two enormous jewfish weighing respectively 300 and 210 pounds, 127 barracuda, six albacore, four yellowtails and a fine bass...”

April 19, 1896 [SF Call]: “Catalina Island Scare. Adventure of a Pleasure Party on the Launch Fleetwing in a Gale. Driven Into the Shelter of a Distant Harbor, Their Absence Causes Great Alarm. Avalon, Catalina Island, April 18.—Considerable excitement and alarm was occasioned last evening, when a party of sixteen persons, which left early in the morning for a trip round the island, failed to return. A stiff breeze, which gradually increased to a gale, had sprung up during the day and a high sea was running, making it almost impossible to come up the seaward shore of the island, which was the route by which the pleasure party was to return. As darkness came on and the Fleetwing the staunch little launch which carried the party, did not appear the gravest apprehensions were felt, and at 9 o'clock a searching party was sent out on La Paloma by the Banning Company. The yacht proceeded at once to the Isthmus and there, quartered in the old Government barracks, were the voyagers seated around a glowing stove in the big main hall singing and swapping sea stories. It seems the Fleetwing encountered no difficulty until it attempted to round the end of the island, when the heavy seas began coming in and a terrific gale sprang up. Captain Macdonnell, who is an able seaman, put out six or seven miles to sea before he could with safety round the point and several hours were consumed in accomplishing this feat, so it was well into the afternoon before Catalina Harbor, the point on the seaward side of the isthmus, was reached. The gale increased momentarily and it was not thought safe to return to Avalon, a distance of some twenty-five miles, with the course on the seaward side of the island. At the isthmus the island narrows to the width of a half mile. Here the voyagers walked across and took refuge in the barracks. Some of the party returned in La Paloma to Avalon last night, reaching port at 1 o'clock this morning, but the majority remained at the isthmus and returned on the Fleetwing this morning, encountering heavy seas and meeting with minor mishaps, but coming into harbor with flying colors and cheering lustily for the little craft and its brave captain. ”

September 11, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “In company with some residents of Avalon, [the boatmen] went on the Fleetwing to Swain’s Valley, about seven miles up the coast, so named after an old hermit of that name, who has resided there for thirty-five years.”