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Peerless (#) (-), 40-foot, two-masted motor schooner used to haul crawfish to town from the different fishing camps on the islands, and to catch seals which were sold to zoos and circuses. Peerless was a very active channel vessel at the turn of the century, operated by Frank Nidever and Rosaline Vasquez who also ran the Gussie M.

In the News~

October 2, 1900 [SBDI]: “The gasoline launch Peerless, recently purchased in San Francisco by Messrs. Reese & Hunt for the local Channel Islands business, arrived today. She is about twenty feet long.”

January 25, 1901 [SBDI]: “The gasoline launch Peerless, Captain Hunt, sailed for the islands this morning.”

March 9, 1901 [SBMP]: “The gasoline launch Peerless, Reese & Hunt, owners, arrived from the islands with a big cargo of crawfish.”

October 31, 1901 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless arrived from the islands last evening with a load of crawfish to meet the Santa Rosa.”

November 1, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “The launch Peerless came over from the islands last evening with a load of crawfish.”

November 13, 1901 [SBDN]: “The Peerless, Captain Nidever, came in yesterday from the island crawfish beds with a cargo of lobsters for San Francisco.”

November 22, 1901 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless arrived from the islands yesterday with a cargo of crawfish.”

November 26, 1901 [SBMP]: “A party of fourteen Santa Barbara men hitched up the gasoline yacht Petrel Saturday evening and drove across the channel for a little Sunday jaunt. Frank Nidever, who has been crossing the channel with the Peerless for crawfish, was captain.”

November 26, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “A party is being organized here to go to Santa Rosa Island to hunt geese. The launch Peerless has been engaged for the trip. It is reported that ducks and geese are plentiful on the island, and those who have been there state that there is much rare sport.”

November 27, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “A party of fourteen Santa Barbara sportsmen who left here on the gasoline launch Peerless Saturday night for Santa Rosa Island in quest of wild geese, had an exceedingly rough experience. Reaching the channel between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands, they found a very heavy wind and high sea, which swept the deck and carried off the skiff, leaving them without means of landing. After tossing about for hours, they succeeded in reaching Santa Cruz Island, and were taken ashore by some fishermen, where their clothes were dried and they were given hot coffee. They returned Sunday night, bringing neither ducks nor geese.”

February 11, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Peerless arrived from Santa Cruz Island today with a cargo of canned crawfish, packed by the West Coast Fish Company, which recently opened a canning factory on the island. This is the first shipment of canned crawfish made by the company, and opens a new industry on the island. Crawfish have been canned heretofore in this city, but not until the establishment of this new cannery has the industry ever been carried on on any of the islands in the Santa Barbara Channel.”

March 12, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The gasoline launch Peerless arrived here from Santa Cruz Island today with news of a drowning. The man whose life was lost in the waves of the Pacific was a Swedish fisherman, August Erickson, employed by the West Coast Fishing Company, whose cannery is located on the island. The details of the drowning are told by David Peterson, a Finnish fisherman partner of Erickson, who was with him when the sea claimed him for a victim, and who had a narrow escape from a similar fate. Peterson and Erickson had been out in a skiff near Smuggler’s Cove, and at dusk were approaching their camp about a mile above the cove. An unusually heavy sea capsized their boat, and in the darkness they were lost from each other’s view. Peterson, badly bruised and almost exhausted, reached the shore. But Erickson was drowned and his body was not recovered for three days. Both men were residents of San Pedro. The coroner has sent a boat to the island to bring back the remains and the inquest will be held in this city.”

March 12, 1902 [SBMP]: “The gasoline launch Peerless arrived from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with news of a drowning. The man whose life was lost [August Erickson], employed by the West Coast Fishing Company, whose cannery is located on the island.

June 4, 1902 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless left yesterday for Santa Cruz Island with 3000 feet of lumber for the West Coast Fishing Company's new cannery.”

June 6, 1902 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless, Captain Nidever, arriving from the islands yesterday brings reports of very rough weather across the channel. A strong northwest wind has prevailed for several days.”

August 6, 1902 [SBMP]: “The Peerless, Captain Frank Nidever, will sail for Santa Cruz Island today with lumber and lath for the West Coast Fishing Company. The company is preparing for the crawfish season, and the material is to build traps.”

August 8, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The Peerless, Captain Frank Nidever, sailed for Santa Cruz Island yesterday with lumber and lath for the West Coast Fishing Company. The company is preparing for the crawfish season, and the material is for the construction of crawfish traps.”

August 16, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The season for crawfishing began today, and men are engaged along the Channel Islands in capturing them for the market. The gasoline launch Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday with traps and supplies for the West Coast Packing Company, which operates on the island. Indications are that crawfish will be as plentiful this season as they were a year ago, and with improved appliances for taking them, it is thought the season will be a prosperous one.”

June 2, 1903: Peerless transported the Rawlins family to San Miguel Island to work for Captain Waters.

June 23, 1903 [SBMP]: “About two months ago Mr. Fraser, accompanied by Mr. Potter, went over to Santa Cruz Island in the power schooner Peerless to meet with Mr. F. Caire...”

June 30, 1903 [SBMP]: “A party of eighteen Barbareños spent Sunday on Santa Cruz Island, going over Saturday night in the launch Peerless. They returned Sunday evening.”

July 5, 1903 Captain Rosaline Vasquez and Peerless delivered the Rawlins family of four (parents Richard and Arklee, and children Richard, age 4, and Frannie, age 2) to San Miguel Island to work for Captain Waters. » Rawlins, Arklee Gillian Life on San Miguel Island in the Year of 1903. Pp. 52-59 Daily, Marla (ed.), A Step Back In Time: Unpublished Channel Islands Diaries. Santa Cruz Island Foundation Occasional Paper Number 4, Santa Barbara, California.

July 7, 1903 [SBMP]: Yesterday morning George Gourley and a party of five returned from a five day cruise to the islands in the gasoline schooner Peerless.”

August 6, 1903 [SBI]: “A merry party of men sailed away in the gasoline launch Peerless this morning for the Channel Islands for a two weeks’ outing. The trim little craft was heavily laden with camp furnishings in their infinite variety and provisions enough to stock a small sized campaigning army. The party, under the nautical guardianship of Captain George Gourley, included P. B. Bates, J. M. McLeod, Fred W. Bliss, J. Tarpania…”

August 15, 1903 [SBI]: “A camping party composed of P. B. Yates, J. A. MacLeod, J. T. Brown, C. E. Dunkell, E. P. Stevens, Fred W. Bliss and Guilford Kimberley of Santa Barbara… returned at noon today from a cruise to the Channel Islands. The party was absent ten days, during which time every point of interest in and about Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands was visited, the party making the trip in the power launch Peerless, Captain George Gourley in charge...”

August 25, 1903 [SBI]: “The fine yachts Ramona, owned by Captain Douglass White, and the Lurline, recently purchased by H. H. Sinclair from John D. Spreckles, are lying at anchor in the harbor today, along with the big gasoline launch Peerless…”

October 5, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain George Gourley left for San Pedro with the power launch Peerless this afternoon under orders from her owner, W. S. Reese, to have her remodeled and greatly improved. A cabin house is to be built for the sturdy little craft and several other additions and alterations made that will add a good deal to her convenience and comfort. Captain Gourley will return home as soon as he turns the boat over to the builders.”

December 9, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain McGuire of New York, who recently returned from a fruitless quest for sea lions at Santa Cruz Island, sailed for San Miguel Island in the power launch Peerless yesterday to renew the hunt. This time he will try to secure a dozen or so of the great ‘bull’ seals that have their habitat on and around the island named, they being wanted merely for exhibit at the St. Louis exposition next year. Some of these ‘bulls’ are of enormous size, weighing a ton or more, and are of extreme ferocity, so it is a hard matter to capture them and a good deal harder to manage them after they are in captivity.”

December 24, 1903 [SBMP]: “On account of some delay in constructing the proper crates, Captain Lyon did not leave for Santa Cruz Island on Tuesday as expected. He hopes to start this morning on the schooner Peerless, Captain Vasquez. The party will be absent several days, as Captain Lyons is in hope of securing about 20 dolphins to take up to his training school at the Cliff House.”

December 24, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez went to the islands this morning in his power launch Peerless, with crates for ten sea lions that he hopes to capture for exhibition at the St. Louis world’s fair.”

February 19, 1904 [SBI]: “This afternoon Captain Colice Vasquez will set sail in the Peerless for San Miguel Island, where he will prosecute his familiar and favorite quest for sea lions, to fill orders received from eastern zoos.”

March 4, 1904 [SBI]: “The gasoline launch Peerless went to San Miguel last evening to bring Captain Waters over to the mainland. The captain has been on the island for the past month superintending his interests there.”

April 21, 1904 [SBMP]: “Sunday afternoon the launch Peerless came in with a large party of Santa Barbara people who had been to the seal caves and passed the night at Ladies' Harbor.”

August 13, 1904 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless, in charge of its owner and captain, Rosaline Vasquez, sailed yesterday morning for Santa Cruz Island. From there he goes to San Pedro to have the Peerless overhauled in dry dock.”

August 14, 1904 [LAT/VC]: “Deputy Fish Commissioner Pritchard of Santa Monica, and Fish License Collector Davis of San Francisco, arrived from Anacapa Island this morning on the schooner Peerless, having in charge a party arrested for violating the lobster and abalone sections of the State laws. Charles Stokes, who resides on Anacapa, was brought over for taking lobsters out of season, while Messrs. Bay Webster and Henry Ireland were charged with taking abalones less than the size allowed by law. Each pleaded guilty and cheerfully paid his fine of $20. Today the officers start for San Nicolas and San Clemente islands. At the former place they expect to make a good catch of lobster fishers from San Pedro, while at San Clemente are a lot of Japanese who are said to be breaking the law.”

August 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “The yacht Peerless returned from San Miguel Island with a cargo of abalones and shells, the product of Chinese fishermen.”

August 28, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez was unloading a cargo of abalone shells in front of the Peerless yesterday. The boat also carried sea grass and other products of San Miguel Island. The Peerless leaves again today for San Miguel Island for another load of the same commodities.”

September 6, 1904 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless returned last night from Forney's Cove, Santa Cruz Island, with a number of Chinese and a cargo of sea grass. The Peerless made the trip in four hours.”

September 10, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Peerless, in charge of Captain Vasquez, left yesterday for Anacapa Island where there are some fishermen who have been catching crawfish.”

September 14, 1904 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless sailed yesterday for the islands where it will be loaded with abalone shells, sea grass and other products gathered there by the Japanese. These goods are unloaded here and shipped again to San Francisco.”

September 18, 1904 [SBMP]: “The large power launch Peerless left the wharf last night in charge of Captain Vasquez...”

September 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Frank Nidever came over from the south side of Santa Cruz Island yesterday in his power schooner Peerless with thirteen sacks of crawfish.”

September 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “C. Vasquez left for the islands yesterday in the Peerless in quest of live seals. He has already captured some, but is after more.”

October 18, 1904 [SBMP]: “The gasoline launch Peerless returned yesterday from four fishing camps on Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands with 35 sacks of crawfish. A fishing boat brought over 25 sacks from other camps.”

November 2, 1904 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless has gone to the islands with supplies for the fishermen who are catching crawfish there. She will load on what fish have been caught there during the last three days and bring them in time for today's steamer. The Peerless has all the crawfish traffic between this city and the islands. The boat's owner controls five fishing camps there and carries fish for three others.”

November 4, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Sea Spray, a 30-foot sloop belonging to Mr. Gerow, broke from its moorings on Wednesday and floated against the rocks near Castle Rock. The launch Peerless attached a cable to her and attempted to float the boat again but without success, and when the tide went down she was left high and dry on the beach and can probably be saved from destruction.”

November 7, 1904 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Colice Vasquez of the launch Peerless has returned from Santa Cruz Island with the news of the sad death of S. W. Cooney, a Grand Rapids, Michigan man who had been in Santa Barbara for his health since last April. Cooney, who was an expert sailor and fisherman, went to Santa Cruz Island several days ago with a party of friends and camped at Lady’s Harbor. He spent most of his time in a small skiff fishing, and Monday left for the fishing grounds as usual. Since that time he had not been seen. Cooney’s friends became anxious when he failed to return Monday night and instituted a search. They found no traces of the missing man, but later his skiff was discovered bottom up on the beach. Cooney wore heavy rubber boots while out fishing and it is surmised that the boat capsized and the boots rendered the man helpless in the water. Captain Vasquez broke the news to Mrs. Cooney, who was completely prostrated. She soon recovered, and later in the day left for the islands in the power launch Frances, with the intention of making a thorough search for the body. Cooney was at one time since coming to Santa Barbara, captain of the Potter Hotel launch, Frances, and Mrs. Cooney has been employed as a bookkeeper at the Potter Hotel.”

November 16, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Jesse L. Hendricks left yesterday afternoon with a number of seal hunters in the Potter Hotel boat Frances for the islands. He has an order for thirteen live seals and will continue to hunt them until that number has been captured.”

November 30, 1904 [SBMP]: “The yacht Peerless sailed yesterday for the crawfish camps on the Channel Islands.”

December 1, 1904 [SBMP]: “A large shipment of crawfish was made today on the steamer to San Francisco. It included 93 sacks. The Peerless came in yesterday with 66 sacks of crawfish from the islands. Of these, 41 were from the Peerless camps, 12 from C. Larco's camps, and 13 from San Pedro fishermen.”

December 1, 1904 [LAT/SB]: “The remains of Tie Kee, the unfortunate Chinaman who died of starvation on San Nicolas Island five years ago, have just been brought to this city by Captain Vasquez of the Peerless. A purse was made up by the Chinese residents for the purpose of exhuming the remains and shipping then to China. Tie Kee’s death was caused by the robbery of his camp on the island, which was shared by two other Chinamen. The robbers took all their catch, camp equipment and provisions, while the fishermen were on the other shore of the island after abalone shells. They managed to live for some days without other provisions than abalone meat, but at last Tie Kee died and was buried by his companions. The other two were rescued by Captain Libbey of the Reliance and brought to this city.”

December 4, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned from the islands yesterday with a cargo of crawfish composed of forty sacks.”

December 23, 1904 [SBMP]: “Rough on the channel. The schooner Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning for the purpose of capturing seals for shipment east, but was compelled to return on account of the heavy weather. The channel is reported to be rougher than for many months past.”

December 24, 1904 [SBMP]: “Boats returning from the islands yesterday report that the water on the other side of the channel is very rough. The Pride came in on Thursday and the Peerless yesterday, and the men on both boats had very difficult times trying to land on the islands. The Peerless went over after seals but returned without a catch.”

December 29, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned yesterday from the islands with a load of crawfish... Captain Vasquez of the Peerless has made a number of trips to the islands, but has been unable to land or drop a net into the water for fish or seals. It is believed that the weather has now reached its climax, and will be better during the next few days.”

1905: Peerless was used to help Ira Eaton launch his new boat Irene.

January 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez left yesterday for the islands with the launch Peerless after crawfish.”

January 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez and his crew of the launch Peerless have just shipped 18 seals which were captured at the islands last week. Four of the seals went to St. Augustine, Florida, and the others to zoos in the east. Captain Vasquez has an order for six more seals which will be caught in the near future.”

January 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless returned last Thursday from the crawfish cannery at Santa Cruz Island having on board 35 sacks of crawfish. The parties attending to the traps report that crawfish are getting scarcer everyday, and that soon the camps will have to be abandoned. The scarcity is not only confined to this locality, but is general further up the coast. It is suggested by those who are interested in the preservation of the crawfish interests that special legislation is needed to prohibit the trapping of crawfish for the next two years.”

February 14, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless failed to make her trip to the islands yesterday on account of the illness of her captain, Colice Vasquez. She will probably sail today, and will carry several young men from Santa Barbara who are to take an outing at the islands.”

February 15, 1905 [SBMP]: “Colice Vasquez left this harbor for the islands yesterday with the launch Peerless, and will return shortly with a number of sacks of crawfish. The catch this week has been unusually small on account of the very rough weather at the islands.”

February 19, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless, which has been waiting for several days to make a trip to the islands, made her way out yesterday for a short tour of the McGuire-Vasquez crawfish camps along the channel. She will probably return this evening or early Monday with a cargo of crawfish.”

February 23, 1905 [SBMP]: “Mr. George McGuire and his nephew, Ralph Foote of Ogdensburg, New York, will leave this morning in the Peerless for the crawfish camps at the islands. They will spend several days inspecting the camps and ascertaining the best places for locating new camps along the outside of the islands. The catches at the islands have been very light of late, but there is a steady increase as the water clears up after the storm.”

February 24, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless took on a load of supplies at Stern's Wharf yesterday, and sailed for the islands on a fishing trip of several days duration.”

February 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned yesterday after a successful trip to the islands. The boat arrived at the islands late in the afternoon Saturday and experienced no difficulty in landing, as did the other boats that recently made the trip...”

March 11, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday. The crawfish camps at the island will be visited and a special effort will be made be the crew to catch seals.”

March 14, 1905 [SBMP]: “The schooner Peerless returned yesterday afternoon from Santa Cruz Island and is anchored in the channel. She brought back thirty sacks of crawfish. During the storm she was safely sheltered in China Harbor and sustained no damage whatever.”

March 14, 1905 [SBMP]: “Japanese may have perished. Abalone fishermen thought to have been caught in the storm. A party of Japanese fishermen may have lost their lives on the south side of Santa Cruz Island during the recent storm. Captain Colice Vasquez is of the opinion, he having just returned from islands in the schooner Peerless. The men left this city some time ago for the islands in search of abalones and established a camp on the north side of Santa Cruz. Shortly before the storm of Saturday night set in, they left for the other side in their small boats. Since that time they have not been seen or heard of, and Captain Vasquez believes they were caught in the storm. The main force of the high seas broke against the south side of the islands and it is stated by those most familiar with conditions there that no vessel could survive the storm of Saturday. On his next trip to the islands Captain Vasquez will search for the missing Japanese.”

March 15, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless was out near the wharf yesterday dragging for some of the launches that sank.”

March 16, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez's schooner Peerless was anchored close to the Owl during the storm, but so well prepared for heavy weather that her owner felt no fears as to her safety.”

March 17, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless, which outrode the storm at the channel islands and came in without harm, will return to the islands today after crawfish. The Peerless camps were not greatly injured by the storm, but fisherman Frank Maglio lost 35 sacks of crawfish and a great deal of fishing traps and tackle.”

March 19, 1905 [SBMP]: “The schooner Peerless sailed yesterday for the crawfish camps on the Channel Islands.”

March 21, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless that was one of the fortunate to escape the recent storm, sailed to the islands yesterday for a load of crawfish. Captain Vasquez had intended to take out a party of pleasure seekers, but the plan was abandoned before the boat set sail, and the pleasure trip will be made a later date.”

March 21, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless will leave this morning for the Channel Islands with a party of pleasure-seekers from the Potter Hotel.”

March 24, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned yesterday afternoon from a trip to the islands, bringing in 20 sacks of crawfish. This is probably the last catch of the season, which terminates this month, as the Peerless crawfish camps were very badly damaged by the strong northeaster that blew for three days the early part of this week. Many crawfish traps were lost in the rough weather.”

April 7, 1905 [SBMP]: “George McGuire, owner and operator of the Peerless launch and fishing camps, is making arrangements to increase the scope of his crew fishing enterprises off this coast...”

April 7, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless was at San Miguel Island yesterday on a business trip for the San Miguel Island Company. Upon her return today, she expects to sail for San Pedro with her owner, George McGuire, and Captain Vasquez. The boat will be put into dry dock there and overhauled.”

April 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “Ed. P. Stevens will leave today with a party of friends in the Peerless for a three days' camping trip on the Channel Islands.”

April 22, 1905 [SBMP]: “The fishing sloop Peerless left for the islands yesterday with a number of fishermen and a load of supplies, for the purpose of establishing abalone camps on Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands. Besides gathering abalone shells, meat and pearls, they will also collect sea grass, which commands a good price in Chinese markets.”

April 29, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless with a party sailed for Santa Cruz Island after a number of seals yesterday. The party expects to return in two or three days.”

May 8, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “Craft in danger. Heavy sea at Santa Barbara… A number of small sailboats and power launches that have been built or repaired since the last storm are now at the Channel Islands, and some anxiety is felt as to their safety. Among the crafts that are at the islands are the Vixen, the Irene, Prima María, Portula, Peerless, and Walker’s launch. Bagley’s Nautilus and Gourley’s Belvedere are out riding the storm here.”

May 20, 1905 [SBMP]: “Several large parties will leave the city today and tomorrow in powerboats for cruises and fishing expeditions about the Channel Islands. The Irene, Vixen, Peerless and several other boats will take out parties.”

May 24, 1905 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless is at the islands after live sea lions, an order having been received by a local firm of seal-catchers for a large number of these animals.”

May 31, 1905 [SBMP]:Peerless after seals. Captain Vasquez is steadfast in his determination to catch some live sea lions. Although he has had some discouragements during the past few weeks in his pursuit of these animals, he has gone to the islands again and expects to remain there until he can bring in some of these much wanted inhabitants of the sea.”

June 16, 1905 [SBMP]: “The schooner Peerless left for the islands yesterday with a party of pleasure seekers. Ira Eaton’s launch will leave today with a party.”

June 20, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless left Sunday for San Miguel Island on a seal-fishing trip. Captain Colice Vasquez was accompanied by Albert Stafford and Theodore Conant.”

June 27, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned from his island sheep ranch on San Miguel. He has been on the island for several weeks, making the trip on the Peerless. He reports delightful weather. Feed on the island is plentiful, and the sheep are in fine condition.”

July 30, 1905 [SBMP]: “The sloop Peerless came in yesterday from the islands with a party of campers. Several parties will go to the islands this week. L. F. Ruiz and a number of friends will make the trip Thursday for a week or two in camp.”

August 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “George M. McGuire, proprietor of the Peerless launch and fishing camps, has just returned from a three months trip to Europe, where he took a number of live sea lions which he caught off Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands. He visited Antwerp, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, London, Manchester and Liverpool, and left live sea lions in each of these cities. He believes that he has established a market in Europe for these animals, and will later in the year fill more orders for these cities. Five of his sea lions died while crossing the Arizona desert, as it was very warm at that time and there were poor water accommodations for them in the express cars. In speaking of his trip, Mr. McGuire said: ‘My European trip was a very successful one, both in a business way and as a pleasure trip. I visited the principal zoological gardens in Europe and saw much to interest me. I find that the Europeans are much more successful in handling of our sea lions than we are in America. They cost more, and perhaps for that reason they have learned how to take care of them better. I know that they keep them alive much longer than in America. I visited the zoological gardens in Regents Park in London, which was one of the prettiest I saw anywhere. They have a beautiful pool there which is 150 x 100 feet in size, and it is made in the shape and style of a natural ocean grotto, with high rocky sides overgrown by mosses. The Santa Barbara sea lions were the first ones put into the water, and they seemed perfectly at home there.’”

August 9, 1905 [SBMP]: “W. A. Hazard, his two sons, Hugh and Willie Hazard, and his cousin L. A. Hazard have returned from a camping and fishing trip to Santa Cruz Island where they were camped for twelve days at Quava Valdez Harbor. They were taken over in the Peerless...”

August 10, 1905 [LAT]: “W. A. Hazard, his two sons, Hugh and Willie Hazard, and his cousin, L. A. Hazard, have returned from a camping and fishing trip to Santa Cruz Island, where they were camped at Quava Valdez Harbor. They were taken over in the Peerless, which left when they were comfortably camped, and called for them after they had been there nearly two weeks. It was reported that Hazard and his party had run short of supplies, and had to subsist for several days on the natural products the island affords, but this he denies. He says they had just finished their last meal as the boat came in sight and declared that it was the most delightful trip he had ever taken. The weather was ideal and fishing in the harbor of Quava Valdez was great. He reports that his party caught over three thousand pounds of fish.”

August 27, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless, Captain Vasquez leaves for the islands today with a party of fishermen and pleasure seekers.”

October 6, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless left yesterday for a trip to San Miguel Island, having taken over Captain Waters, proprietor of the island who will remain there for some time looking after his business interests on the island.”

October 13, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned from San Miguel Island where she went a few days ago with Captain Waters, proprietor of the island. The boatmen reported that the west coast of San Miguel is strewn with lumber washed ashore from the schooner J. M. Colman, which was grounded on the rocks over a month ago. The boat brought in a load of the wreckage. The Colman is still on the rocks, but will soon be beaten to pieces.”

November 3, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless came in from Santa Cruz Island on Tuesday with a load of crawfish, which were shipped by steamer to San Francisco markets. Crawfish are at present scarce, fewer being caught than at this season in preceding years. Frank Maglio also shipped crawfish to northern markets on the same boat.”

November 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez of the launch Peerless had left for the wreck of the Colman to take off its pony engine. Considerable anxiety is felt in regard to the safety of Captain Vasquez and his crew of six men of the power launch Peerless which is four days over-due from a trip to San Miguel Island. Eight days ago the Peerless sailed for the treacherous western coast of San Miguel Island in charge of Captain Vasquez with a number of men to assist him in the work of recovering the pony engine from the wreck of the schooner Colman, which has been stranded on the rocky reefs of that island for more than two months. Figuring the time required to transfer the engine to the launch and return to this city, the Peerless should have arrived here four days ago. She has not returned and grave fears are entertained by the owner of the ship and by the friends of those who accompanied Captain Vasquez. They do not fear a wreck of that staunch little boat, but there are many uncomfortable circumstances that might have delayed the boat and put the men to a great deal of trouble and exposures on that island. The engine of the boat may be out of order or some break down may have detained them where food and water supplies are short. If the boat is not heard from today, Captain Merry will leave for San Miguel Island tonight with men and supplies in order to ascertain what has delayed the Peerless, or to render assistance to the men in case they are in need of help. Among the passengers on the Peerless was Captain Percy Bagley, one of the most experienced boatmen of this city.”

November 21, 1905 [SBMP]: “No word received from Captain Vasquez and crew of six men. The power launch Peerless, with its crew of six men, has not yet been heard from, and fears for the safety of the men who went with that little boat over a week ago to the wreck of the Colman on the west coast of San Miguel are growing graver as time slips by and the boat fails to return. The situation has been made worse by a strong northwest wind that makes their position more dangerous and prevents other small crafts from going over to ascertain what has delayed the Peerless. The owners of the Peerless had made arrangements for the Vishnu to go over Sunday, but decided to give the absent boat one more day to return, and to have Captain Merry start for San Miguel yesterday. When a strong gale blew over the channel all day yesterday and the waters of the ocean were raised into high billows, this attempt to go to the rescue of the Peerless was again postponed. A trip across the channel under such circumstances would be perilous to a small boat. Captain Merry is ready to start on his trip, and as soon as the weather will permit, he will leave in all haste for San Miguel.”

November 22, 1905 [SBMP]: “Yacht Vishnu will leave today in an endeavor to locate the missing boat Peerless. The power launch Peerless, eleven days out from this city to the west coast of San Miguel, has not yet been heard from. In order to allay the fears of the friends and relatives of the six men who sailed with the boat, Captain Merry will sail today if the weather conditions will permit, in his power yacht, Vishnu, to the rescue of the boat and the men whom it is feared are stranded on the island. Captain Merry will be accompanied by Ira Eaton of the Irene, and by Horace Lawn. The Vishnu will carry a large stock of supplies for the men, and will be equipped to render any aid necessary. She will reach the spot where the Peerless is probably anchored early this afternoon, and expects to be back in this port by Thursday morning with definite news of the Peerless, and what has delayed that boat at San Miguel. The Peerless sailed eleven days ago on what was figured out to be a four days’ trip to the wreck of the stranded schooner J. M. Colman; the purpose of the trip was to bring back the pony engine from the Colman. Captain Colice Vasquez was in charge of the Peerless. He was accompanied by Percy Bagley and experienced boatmen of this city: Roy White, a Bakersfield youth, George Godfrey, and two craw fishermen who were intending to remain at the camps on Santa Rosa Island. The distance to the wreck of the Colman from this city is about 60 miles, making a 10-hour trip for a launch under present conditions of the channel. The failure of the Peerless to return upon the stated time has caused considerable anxiety in the minds of those who are interested in the boat and her crew, and arrangements were made to have the Vishnu go to the rescue or aid of the men several days ago, but the rough weather in the channel postponed the trip until this morning. The absence of the boat does not mean that she is necessarily lost or wrecked. There are many things which could have happened to have delayed the Peerless for a week or longer than was expected. The trip of the Vishnu is, therefore, one of aid and inquiry, and is a wise move under the circumstances. The Vishnu will make all haste to return after locating Peerless, and may possibly bring that boat back with her if she has been disabled so that she cannot make the trip alone.”

November 23, 1905 [SBMP]:Peerless home from San Miguel. The launch Peerless has ventured from San Miguel after a twelve days’ trip, and with the long expected boat returned the six men who went over to the wreck of the schooner J. M. Colman. The power yacht Vishnu did not leave for the island yesterday, as the Peerless arrived before Captain Merry was ready to start. Seamen returning with the Peerless report having experienced considerable rough weather which prevented them returning to this city sooner and accomplishing the work for which the trip was taken. The boat and her crew returned in good condition, and they suffered no lack of food or shelter. The Peerless went to San Miguel for the purpose of getting a pony engine off the Colman, but failed to get the engine, which was washed off the lighter and left on the beach. Upon reaching the scene of the Colman wreck, the Peerless found calm weather for five days, but very heavy swells were rolling in and it was impossible to get to the engine from the lighter. A line was run to the lighter, but the Peerless could not get in close enough to remove the engine. A southeaster came up on the fifth day and drove them out of the south bay into Cuyler’s Harbor where the boat remained for six days. A heavy northwest wind forced them to remain in the harbor, although the men knew that their friends in this city were worrying about them. On Tuesday the weather became clearer and the channel more possible, so the Peerless sailed at noon for Point Conception and arrived off Gaviota before nightfall. Turning south the boatmen were soon in sight of the Santa Barbara light and reached port at 2 o’clock yesterday morning. The six men returning with the Peerless were Captain Vasquez, Percy Bagley, Roy White, George Godfrey, Carlos Ruiz, and craw fishermen who recently arrived in the city from Mexico.”

December 16, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday afternoon in the launch Peerless. He brought back two small sea lions. The pups will be shipped to Monterey. Captain Vasquez was accompanied on his trip by two physicians from the eastern states, who assert that their trip to Santa Cruz Island was one of the most interesting experiences of their lives.”

December 30, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless sailed for Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning after live seals. The boat is in charge of Captain Vasquez, who expects to capture several seals if the weather permits.”

January 7, 1906 [SBMP]: “The Peerless left for Santa Cruz Island with supplies for the crawfish camps and with the intention of securing a few seals.”

January 11, 1906 [SBMP]: “The power launch Peerless was at the wharf yesterday with a cargo of crawfish which were caught off Santa Cruz Island. The boat also brought back a large seal which will be shipped to a zoological garden in the east.”

January 16, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez left in the Peerless yesterday morning for Santa Cruz Island after seals and crawfish.”

February 17, 1906 [SBMP]: “The schooner Peerless returned yesterday from San Miguel Island, having been stormbound there for the past eight days. Thirty sacks of crawfish from the camps on Santa Cruz Island were part of the cargo.”

March 20, 1906 [SBMP]: “The Peerless left for Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands for seals.”

April 12, 1906 [SBMP]: “Word was brought over from the islands yesterday that Captain Vasquez of the launch Peerless has captured fifteen fine large sea lions which he will bring over to this city on Saturday or Sunday. He is capturing the sea lions for George M. McGuire of this city who took a number of them to Europe last year.”

April 25, 1906 [SBMP]: “Diving for Abalones. Japanese fishermen are threatening industry... Libbey and Nidever say that G. F. McGuire, owner of the powerboat Peerless, has a crew of ten Japs working for him at San Miguel, and that the San Pedro Cannery Company had the schooner Bolinas with a full crew of divers at work.”

March 30, 1906 [SBMP]: “Crawfish camps are deserted. Season ended and fishermen leave islands... The launch Peerless returned from the islands yesterday with a large number of fishermen who have been catching crawfish near the islands for several months...

July 20, 1906 [SBMP]: “E. P. Stevens, Mr. Stafford and others are camped out at Ladies Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, where they have been for several days. They are being supplied with provisions and dispatched from the mainland by the launch Peerless.”

December 30, 1906 [SBMP]: “The Peerless left yesterday for San Miguel Island with a load of general supplies for the island camp on board. She was in charge of Captain Colice Vasquez and it is expected that she will have returned to port within a couple of days.”

January 2, 1907 [SBMP]: “It is expected that the Peerless which sailed for San Miguel Island a few days ago with a quantity of supplies, will return to the mainland some time today. Captain Colice Vasquez is in charge of the craft.”

January 6, 1907 [SBMP]: “The Peerless sailed yesterday for Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands, carrying a number of crawfish traps that have been manufactured since her arrival here a couple of days ago. These will be distributed along several island camps from which Captain Frank Nidever and Ira Eaton have been making so many large catches of crawfish during the past couple of weeks.”

January 9, 1907 [SBMP]: “Wind demoralizes shipping, driving many craft to beach. Power sloop Peerless Captain Vasquez. Well anchored. Still in harbor.”

January 17, 1907 [SBWP]: “Boat owners will rebuild. New fleet will be in water soon. Valuable engines saved from wrecks. Since the heavy southeaster that cast so many of the smaller craft onto the beach, the waterfront has been the scene of much activity… The Peerless, the Vishnu and the Irene are about the only boats left that are fit for service. The Irene, belonging to Nidever and Eaton, was at the islands during the storm and this probably saved her from the fate that befell the other small craft. The Peerless and the Vishnu rode out the storm.”

January 17, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, accompanied by his son Charles Waters of Minneapolis, and his brother John Waters of Boston, will leave today on the sloop Peerless to San Miguel Island. They expect to return Sunday.”

January 18, 1907 [SBMP]: “Lying at anchor yesterday were the Santa Cruz, the Vishnu, the Peerless, the Irene, the Victoria, and the launch formerly belonging to the fisherman Maglio.”

January 25, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, president of San Miguel Island Company, returned yesterday from San Miguel Island in the Peerless. Captain Waters crossed the channel several days ago, accompanied by his son and brother. He reports 9 inches of rain on the island since the first day of the year, this soaking having been extremely beneficial in every way, and having done no particular damage to property.”

February 22, 1907 [SBMP]: “The Peerless, Captain Vasquez, sailed yesterday for Santa Rosa Island with a party of sheep shearers. Returning, the Peerless will bring back a cargo of lumber from the wreck of the schooner Colman on San Miguel Island.”

March 3, 1907 [SBMP]: “Shark’s skeleton not preserved. Captain McGuire, who purchased the rare shark captured by B. Falconi, is now fully convinced that the huge fish is not a basking shark, but a casual visitor from the Indo-Pacific Ocean… The skeleton of the creature was not preserved… The carcass was towed out to sea by the launch Peerless and sunk in deep water, some three miles from shore. The hide is being pickled.”

March 7, 1907 [SBMP]: “Whale a guest at Miramar. Unwelcome carcass disfigures beach. Early yesterday morning, two lads… sighted a whale floating high out of the water near the Miramar pleasure wharf. Each of them secured a small punt and rowed out to the floating mass... Nothing daunted, the boys conceived the brilliant idea of towing the monster ashore...within convenient wafting distance of Miramar and Montecito. Captain George McGuire, a prominent local seaman, ordered out the power schooner Peerless with Captain Vasquez and a crew, Captain McGuire’s wife and a reporter. Upon arrival at the scene, Captain McGuire quickly realized that the whale was far too decomposed for any salvage operation... Mr. Doulton [hotel owner] was left with the weighty problem of disposing of the carcass, for Captain McGuire was unsuccessful in trying to float it at high tide...”

April 13, 1907 [SBI]: “Santa Barbara seals are wanted. Foreign powers pleased with creatures from islands… Captain Vasquez brought thirteen seals over from the islands this morning in the Peerless, and two weeks ago he sent away more than twenty, and thirty are still due from him…”

April 13, 1907 [SBI]: “The launch Peerless left this morning for the islands on a seal catching expedition. Captain Vasquez is in command. The boat will return Sunday.”

April 24, 1907 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez of the launch Peerless made a big catch of seals last week, at the islands. He returned to this port this morning with thirteen.”

April 26, 1907 [SBI]: “The launch Peerless left for the islands this morning on another seal hunting expedition. Captain Vasquez has been very successful of late, having caught thirteen on his last trip.”

May 1, 1907 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless, Captain Vasquez, arrived yesterday from Prisoners’ Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, bringing over Joe Ruiz, whose ankle was broken by a horse falling with him while chasing wild sheep.”

May 2, 1907 [SBI]: “The launch Peerless is expected from the islands tomorrow, where Captain Vasquez is seal fishing.”

May 20, 1907 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez will leave in the Peerless tomorrow for Santa Cruz Island, where he will endeavor to capture eighteen seals for an eastern shipment.”

May 30, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain Colice Vasquez and Dan Pico yesterday made the trip from Friar’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island to Santa Barbara, a distance of 25 miles, in one of Captain Gourley’s Whitehall rowboats. The distance was covered in five hours, remarkably good time. The men came over for repairs to the machinery of the launch Peerless. The Peerless was left at the island port, and the broken part was brought over in the rowboat. Such trips across the channel are not common in these days, though in the palmy days of otter hunting such a crossing was an ordinary occurrence.”

October 2, 1907 [SBMP]: “The power sloops Peerless and Gussie M arrived yesterday afternoon with cargoes from the wreck of the lumber-laden schooner Colman, which went ashore on the west coast of San Miguel Island some eighteen months ago. On their next trip over from the island they will have in tow a lighter just built by Don Leach of this city. The lighter measures 30 feet overall, 15 feet beam, and draws 3 feet of water. She will carry 40,000 feet in lumber. The lighter has been decked over and the load will be upon her decks.”

October 26, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain Colese Vasquez and Don Leach came over from San Miguel Island Thursday evening bringing over the Peerless and the Gussie M. The lighter which was being built to ferry the lumber from the wrecked Colman across the channel, was beached for repairs and was destroyed by a big sea, which dashed it into a thousand pieces.”

March 17, 1908 [LAT/SB]: “Eighteen persons who started on the power launch Peerless for an excursion to Santa Cruz Island, yesterday morning, got mixed up in a field of kelp off Goleta last night, on their return trip, and were forced to remain in the fold of the sea all night. The Peerless is not intended to accommodate more than half a dozen men at any time, for far as sleeping quarters are concerned, so it was mightily unpleasant for the bunch of merrymakers on the little craft. This morning three men swam ashore from the launch, reaching More’s Landing after a dangerous battle with the waters of the channel… Launches were sent out to free the Peerless from her predicament…”

March 19, 1908 [LAT/SB]: “After drifting about for many hours on he power schooner Peerless, their trip to Santa Cruz Island Sunday, and not being rescued from the channel fog until late Monday afternoon, the fourteen members of the excursion party discovered that they had plenty of gasoline in their tank but that the pipe had been clogged with something that prevented the gasoline’s flow.”

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.”

November 29, 1908 [SBMP]: “The yawl-rigged launch Peerless, at one time owned by W. S. Rees, cast anchor in the channel yesterday with a cargo of crawfish from Santa Cruz Island. The vessel is now owned by a company of Japanese fishermen from San Pedro.”

1908: Margaret Eaton wrote that the Peerless now “belonged to some Japanese fishermen who were working up by El Pozo near Big Jerry [Shively].” [Eaton 1980: 14-15, 112].

February 14, 1909 [SBMP]: “The fishing fleet which went out to the islands just prior to the big southeast storm got in yesterday afternoon with the last load of crawfish allowed by law this season. This included the Baltic, Peerless, North Star and the Gussie M...”