Island Packers

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Island Packers early advertising brochure, 1968.
Mark, Cherryl, Lil and Kirk COnnally, Santa Cruz Island
Island Adventure, Santa Cruz Island
Island Packers boat approaching Scorpion Anchorage,
Santa Cruz Island


Island Packers was founded in 1968 by Bill and Lil Connally and their four children, Mark, Kirk, Brad and Cherryl. The family began their business by taking tourists and campers to Frenchy's Cove, West Anacapa Island in 1968. At that time, the island was a National Monument, and monument superintendent, Donald Robinson, issued Island Packers a permit to operate their business. In 1980 they became the official concessionaire to Channel Islands National Park: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands.

Vessels owned and/or operated by Island Packers (1968-present):

  • Chieftan
  • S/V Diamaresa
  • Genee
  • Gringo, owned by Kirk Connally
  • Island Fox
  • Islander, first high speed catamaran operated by Island Packers
  • Island Adventure, second high speed catamaran operated by Island Packers
  • Island Explorer, third high speed catamaran operated by Island Packers
  • Island Packer, [exVerna F], first vessel owned and operated by Island Packers (1968-1969)
  • Jeffrey Arvid
  • S/V Kelpie
  • Paisano, second vessel operated by Island Packers (1969-1975)
  • Sea Packer
  • S/V Shearwater
  • Speed Twin
  • M/V Sunfish
  • S/V Swift
  • Vanguard
  • We Seven, third Island Packers vessel



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In the News~

December 29, 1969 [San Bernardino County Sun]: “Anacapa Isles Offer New View. The Channel Islands, extending over a range of about 150 miles off the Southern California coast, with such colorful Spanish names as Santa Catalina, San Miguel and San Clemente, offers new adventure to the visitor. None except Santa Catalina has been developed. The most rugged of these Channel Islands is Anacapa Island. This small chain of islands, about five miles long, consists of three islands, with numerous caves. There are no accommodations here, but primitive camping is permitted at Frenchy's Cove. Anacapa's lave islands abound in marine mammals: seal elephants, the fur seal and the California sea lion. On rare occasions, a sea otter might be sighted. There are also many sea birds, mostly gulls and pelicans. Unique plants such as the giant tree-like sunflower grow on Anacapa Islands. The only way to the Anacapa Islands is by private boats, such as the Island Packer, out at Oxnard or Ventura. This boat takes trips to these islands for those who like to picnic, skin dive, camp or just plain sightsee. The ride out is exciting as flying fish sail by or a whale might leap out of the water. Ashore you will see the undersea gardens with sea urchins, star fish and Garabaldi fish. Or maybe you might like to explore the sea caves and be greeted by the loud barking of hundreds of sea lions. ”