Hazard’s Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island

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Hazard’s Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island (Hazzards; Hazard’s Harbor, Hazard’s Canyon) is located on the north side of the island to the west of Cueva Valdez. South of Hazard’s Anchorage, Hazard’s Canyon leads to the north ridge of the island. When the island was partitioned in 1925, this location was included in Tract No. 2 appointed to Frederic F. Caire. Early island maps also use the names Cañada del Ganado and Cañada del Gannada identifying the canyon.


In the News~

November 28, 1908 [SBI]: “Fishing at the islands has been considerably hampered for the past few days owing to the fact that the recent storm either badly injured or demolished about half a dozen boats of the Italian and Japanese fishermen. According to reports from the islands, four boats were lost at Cueva Valdez. A large skiff used by the Japanese as a sailboat, was washed ashore and broken up at Hazzards. Other boats are reported missing. Not in the last 20 years, fishermen say, have the waves rolled as high as in the recent storm. It was reported among fishermen at the time of the storm, that both the Baltic and the Peerless failed to weather the gale and went down. The Baltic was here at the time, and the Peerless has since been reported safe. The loss of the Japanese sailboat probably caused the rumor of the loss of the Peerless, as she is owned by Japanese. It will be several weeks before the wrecked boats are repaired or replaced, and in the meantime skiffs are at a premium. Crawfishing is still reported good, and it is expected that several large catches will be brought in tomorrow.”


April 24, 1916 [SBDNI]: “Two women and man lost four days on Santa Cruz — After spending four days and three days lost on Santa Cruz Island without wraps, fire or food, except mussels and prickly pears, Miss May Christal, girls' physical director in the public schools, Miss Mary Anderson, junior college student, and Henry Campbell of the County National Bank, were brought home... famished and cold. When they reached the little cove at Hazards, they decided to stop until the boat came after them, having no idea of their location...”


April 24, 1916 [SBDN]: “The three who were lost for four days and three nights last week on Santa Cruz Island, Miss May Christal, Miss Mary Anderson, and Henry Campbell, object to the statements that have been made to the effect that they were strongly advised not to make the trip across the island, on which they were lost. They state positively that they were told the journey could be made in three hours. The members of the lost party are also complaining that there are too few boats on the island and that campers are entirely at the mercy of one or two overworked boats. Miss May Christal, the high school teacher in the party, has written the following account of the trip, beginning with the morning of the day on which the party was lost:

The party of nine sailed in the Sea Wolf from Fry’s Harbor to Prisoners’ Harbor and walked and walked three miles to the main ranch house, where Mr. Ravelle, superintendent, showed them the sheep shearing pens and other old-time ranch interests characteristic of Ramona days. Miss Christal and Miss Anderson said they would like to walk back to Fry’s, where upon a few others wanted to go, but it was decided that it would not be advisable, as their shoes were not suitably hobnailed, as the hike promised to be a hard one. After inquiring from the ranch superintendent the hikers, now reduced to Miss Christal, Miss Anderson and Mr. Campbell were told definitely how to go and that they could make the trip in three hours, or at the most three and a half hours. The parties divided, one set of six returning to Captain Eaton’s boat, while the other three were given a hearty luncheon by Superintendent Ravelle. It might be remarked that the lunch probably saved the lives of the wanderers. At 12:30 o’clock Thursday the three bade Mr. Ravelle good-bye and started their tramp through the picturesque valley in which the Caire ranch is located. All points of direction were carefully located and the steep ascent was completed successfully. The three stopped to rest at a point some four hundred feet below a very rocky crest, to watch the half wild sheep disperse themselves in and out of their cave shelters. Two hours of the scheduled three-hour journey had now passed. It was known for certain that it was from this point that the party went astray. The configuration of the island might roughly be compared to the shape of a great starfish, the highest part in the center and the main ridges sloping out as the arms. Instead of following the ridge, which leads down to Fry’s and the neighboring harbor, the party continued their ascent a few hundred yards west. This brought them to another ridge altogether, and of course the more they walked the farther west they traveled. Thursday night was spent on the mountain where a chill breeze and ‘hummingbird’ mosquitoes made sleeping impossible. Friday at dawn the travelers descended the ridge to the sea edge, where the promontories looked unfamiliar and forbiddingly steep. Nevertheless most of the day was spent in an exhausting trip scaling some six or eight of the promontories. Finally by mutual agreement the wanderers descended the steep bluff to Hazard’s Harbor and decided to remain there until some passing craft would pick them up. However they did not recon on the number of days that were to pass before such help would come. Noting their position on opposite the mainland they were well aware of their being many miles west of Fry’s Harbor, but what was the use of expending their fast waning strength in a futile effort to return? Mussels, prickly pears and water would sustain life for many days, even though the menu was unappetizing and monotonous. The sun beat down hotly by day while the night air chilled to the marrow. Meanwhile the campers at Fry’s were frantically anxious to reach the lost ones but were powerless to do so, in that they did not have even a rowboat at the harbor and Captain Eaton’s visits to Fry’s were rare. His time was wholly taken up with conducting the Flying A and other moving picture expeditions for pictures at points below Fry’s Harbor. For this reason Captain did not visit Fry’s Harbor until Saturday afternoon and then heard the story of the lost hikers. Previous arrangements with the picture company, however, kept him until Sunday at 5 o’clock, when he set sail for a cruise along the coast and after forty minutes’ trip located the marooned hikers at Hazard’s Harbor. They were on the beach and had fully settled their minds and hearts to a fourth night of vigil in the chilly caves awaiting the first evidence of a search by Captain Eaton, who was booked to return to the mainland Sunday night. What might have been a terrible tragedy serves to focus attention on the need for better and more boat service to a point of scenic wonders.”


September 4, 1917 [SCICo]: “On September 3rd we gave notice on Ramon Romo et al at Hazard; Rosaline Vasquez et al at Fry’s Harbor; and Frank Nidever at Orizaba. What is the next move? We will serve Willows, Coches Prietos and Blue Banks on September 4th and Middle Banks, Yellowbanks and San Pedro Point on the 5th.”


September 15, 1917 [SCICo]: “We have made arrangements with Romo at Hazard to pay a rental of $3.50 per month during the crawfish season. This is along the lines suggested by Mr. F. F. Caire, but is $1.50 more than the rent proposed.”


In August 1923 the Santa Barbara Yacht Club's vessel, Caprice, was used for a rum-running raid conducted on Santa Cruz Island which netted 11 barrels of full-strength beer from two caves at Hazard's Anchorage.


August 3, 1923 [SBMP]: “The seizure made yesterday uncovers the first actual evidence of bonded liquor smuggling by water into Santa Barbara.”


In April 1930 botanist Phillip Munz collected plants in Hazard’s Canyon.


In December 1930 Ralph Hoffmann reported: “On November 8th, the writer visited Santa Cruz Island with the definite purpose of collecting Jepsonia. One whole day was spent at Valdez and Hazard Harbors in a fruitless search.”