Difference between revisions of "WHALES"

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'''February 4, 1935 [LAT]:''' “Unusual success of whaling operations in the local area this season has inspired formation of another fleet, to chase leviathans in the Gulf of California. As part of the new fleet, the tiny thirty-year-old ‘killer’ steamers ''Barbara'' and ''Clemente'' are being rebuilt at the Wilmington Boat Works… Meanwhile the fleet of the California Whaling Company, based now off Point Dume, is enjoying its busiest season in many years. Captain F. K. Dedrick, president, said yesterday that during January his killer boats ''Port Saunders'' and ''Hawk'' delivered to the factory ship California twenty-four California grey whales, the best month’s showing in the company’s history. The California fleet will remain in the Point Dume area throughout the finback and blue whale season, now beginning.”
 
'''February 4, 1935 [LAT]:''' “Unusual success of whaling operations in the local area this season has inspired formation of another fleet, to chase leviathans in the Gulf of California. As part of the new fleet, the tiny thirty-year-old ‘killer’ steamers ''Barbara'' and ''Clemente'' are being rebuilt at the Wilmington Boat Works… Meanwhile the fleet of the California Whaling Company, based now off Point Dume, is enjoying its busiest season in many years. Captain F. K. Dedrick, president, said yesterday that during January his killer boats ''Port Saunders'' and ''Hawk'' delivered to the factory ship California twenty-four California grey whales, the best month’s showing in the company’s history. The California fleet will remain in the Point Dume area throughout the finback and blue whale season, now beginning.”
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'''November 29 1935 [San Pedro News Pilot]:''' “Whaling ship's repairs completion set for today. The whaling ship ''California'', which nearly sank last Tuesday while operating in the vicinity of Santa Barbara Island, was expected to finish with her repairs today in the Los Angeles shipyard. Placed in drydock on Wednesday, surveyors found several small leaks in her hull which were easily repaired. The ship was brought into the local port under Coast Guard convoy.”
  
  

Revision as of 22:54, 13 January 2020

Whale caught at Santa Catalina Island c. 1900
Grey whale migration off Santa Cruz Island

WHALES are commonly sighted in the Santa Barbara Channel. Gray whales pass through on their southern migration to Baja, California in December, January and February, returning north in February, March and April. Humpback whales are most often seen from May through August. Blue whales are found June through September, as are Minke whales. Killer whales are most often seen in August.

1888 Report of the Commissioner, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries (GPO: 1892) reports:

“In 1880 when Professor Jordan visited this region [Santa Barbara County, he reported that]… for many years crews of Italians and Portuguese located at Goleta Point and near Point Conception to prosecute the whale fishery… The fishery was given up some time ago, chiefly because of the low price of oil.”

In the mid 1920s, a mother ship for a whaling operation used Bechers Bay, Santa Rosa Island at its base of operations. Harpooners in smaller vessels killed whales and floated them to the mother ship for trying. According to eye-witness E. K. Smith (1918-2010), the operation was very smelly and the whale carcasses attracted lots of little fish.


Baleen Whales:


Toothed Whales:



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Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Cruz Island G. W. Gourley SBMNH November 14, 1916 SBMNH Eubalena glacialis Mammals North Atlantic Right Whale (teeth)


In the News~

February 21, 1851 [DAC]: “Sunday excursion. Fishing banks—Whalers Ahoy—The steamer Goliah, Capt. Thomas, will leave Cunningham's Wharf, on Sunday, 23rd inst., at 10 a.m. for the Farallones. Should the weather be fine, and as she will have experienced whalers on board, together with boats and necessary tackle, it is expected that several whales will be captured, affording all a fine opportunity of enjoying the exciting sport. Tickets $8, to be had at the office. Charles Minturn, Agent, Cunningham's Wharf.”


March 22, 1876 [BowersFN]: “I and my wife, DeMoss, Dr. Yates, and two hands embarked at Santa Barbara on the Star of Freedom for Santa Rosa Island. Becalmed in the channel, we were 29 hours in reaching the island. We were fearfully seasick. Had a fine number of whales that came near our ship. The noise of their spouting was like that of a low pressure steamer.”


March 5, 1877 [SBDP]: “A large school of whales was seen near the islands on Saturday morning.”


February 18, 1882 [SBWP]: “At the whaling camp of Captain Anderson, near Point Conception, twenty-two whales have been caught this season, making about 900 barrels of oil.”


December 7, 1882 [SBDP]: “The San Luis Obispo Tribune says: ‘Whaling on the coast has begun. Captain Clark of Simeon Station took a large gray whale on Monday that will yield a large return of oil.”


July 3, 1883 [SBDP]: “Messrs. Doulton and Larco, whose return from a cruise among the islands in Santa Barbara channel was mentioned yesterday, related their experiences while running from a frolicsome old California gray which had taken quite a fancy to the little sloop, Ocean King. Last Tuesday morning while beating up before the wind between Gaviota and San Miguel Island, the boat received a sudden shock from below which made her tremble, and a moment afterwards the back and then the flukes of a large whale appeared alongside the boat and then disappeared. A moment afterwards the monster appeared upon the other side of the sloop as it rose to the surface, struck the surface of the waves with its flukes, and then went down. Messrs. Larco and Doulton were in hopes that the sea monster had gone its way and left them, but a minute afterwards it reappeared running alongside the little sloop, its back out of the water...” Doulton fired at the whale... They say they never felt more anxiously uncomfortable in their lives than while running in company of this playful sea monster.”


March 12, 1884 [SBDI]: “The whale, washed ashore on the beach some days ago, and now being dissected and converted into oil, was the grand attraction to the public in general yesterday and today. Many carriage loads of curious spectators went to the lighthouse and walked from there to the beach, where the stranded monster was left by the high tide nearly opposite the house of Mr. Oliver on the Mesa… The whale, which is a cow, measures 47 feet in length and is 35 feet in circumference… It is expected to yield 30 barrels of oil when the trying-out process is completed, this at 65 cents per gallon… The find was made Sunday afternoon by John Oliver and Ray Elliott, who at once put their names on the dead carcass…”


March 19, 1884 [SBDP]: “The amateur whaling camp on the beach near the lighthouse has met with a distater — or a landslide. The rain loosened the earth and rocks in the bank above where the boys had built their furnace and where the oil in cans was stored, and an immense quantity of it came tumbling down, covering up and sadly demoralizing the whole outfit. One of the boys, Mr. Lloyd, states that they have lost nearly everything. If they now save enough oil from the wreck to pay them for their expense and time they will be fortunate.”


April 30, 1884 [SBDP]: “The whale washed ashore opposite the Oliver place on the Mesa, a few weeks age and which was supposed to be a bonanza for the discoverers in the way of barrels of whale oil, has been heard from again, and this time nearer home. The carcass, or what remained of it at the time of the disaster, in the way of a landslide, is now lying half buried in the sand on the beach this side of Castle Point. Just when it was thrown up here on the beach is not known, but it was seen there last Saturday.”


February 6, 1885 [SBDI]: “Two sons of Captain Larco, yesterday, while trolling for fish, were considerably frightened and their danger was fully realized. Recently there has been a whale frequently seen meandering near the wharf, and yesterday he got tangled in the fishermen’s fish nets, and in freeing himself made the waters wild with commotion, causing no little excitement among the fishermen. However, he gained his liberty and after striking the waters with his tail that sounded like distant thunder, he made a bee line for the channel in the direction of the boys above referred to. Seeing their danger they made for the shore and just as they reached the kelp the monster struck their boat with such force as almost to capsize it, resulting in frightening the boys considerably.”


March 10, 1885 [SBDP]: “Captain Burtis, of the schooner Rosita, reports that when crossing the channel a couple of days ago, he saw two sperm whales. While grays and humpbacks are quite common in these waters, it is very seldom that sperm whales run as far north as this latitude. They are generally first encountered off Lower California.”


September 19, 1885 [SDU]: “The Santa Barbara Independent says about two weeks ago six sperm drifted ashore on the south end of Santa Rosa Island. They were discovered too late for the oil to be utilized. Had they been found in time, the finders would have realized something like a profit of $5000.”


July 20, 1886 [SBDI]:Ocean King discharged yesterday 60 sacks of abalone shells and this morning left for San Miguel Island to bring over some whalers.”


February 14, 1891 [SBMP]: “A whale is ashore on San Miguel Island.”


February 18, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty, belonging to Rogers Brothers, left yesterday for San Miguel Island on an otter hunting trip and to try out a whale which is ashore there.”


February 25, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Monday night from San Miguel Island with a number of Chinamen and a large cargo of dried abalones and abalone shells. A party of otter hunters was left on the island. They will also try out a whale which is ashore there.”


March 3, 1891 [LAT]: “The sloop Liberty arrived Monday night from San Miguel Island with a number of Chinamen and a large cargo of dried abalones and abalone shells, Says the Santa Barbara Press. A party of otter hunters was left on the island. They will also try out a whale which came ashore there.”


February 19, 1892 [SBDI]: “A school of whales was seen across toward the island of Santa Cruz on Wednesday last, says the Summerland.”


January 18, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “A school of whales attracted much attention out in the channel on Sunday. They were headed south, and should be in the vicinity of Santa Monica by this time if they kept true to their course.”


February 1893 Catherine MacLean Loud diary: “The winter brought little excitement until E. O’Leary sent word that a whale was ashore on San Clemente Island. It took fourteen men to pull it up on the beach. Harry Elms gleaned some bones from it to display in his Shell and Curiosity Shop at the north corner of Whittley and Crescent Avenues.”


October 30, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “A letter from Captain W. G. Waters at San Miguel Island states that a large whale is stranded on the west coast of the island, and that he will cut the cetacean up and try out the oil.”


November 29, 1896 [NYT]: “Battle with swordfish. A whale killed off the coast of California. Passengers on the little steamer that makes daily trips between San Pedro and Santa Catalina Island, some thirty miles out in the Pacific Ocean, were excited the other day by a terrible battle between two sea monsters… The monster, a very large-sized whale, turned this way and that, all the time lashing its black tail with fury and beating the water so that the sound came like claps of thunder… The swordfish had the advantage of the great sea mammal, and was thrusting its only weapon of attack and defense, the long, sharp and pointed sword…”


May 24, 1897 [LAT]: “Have you seen the whale? The Terminal’s whale at Long Beach. If not, you are missing the opportunity of your life. It is a magnificent specimen and in perfect condition. See it today and take Terminal trains only.”


June 8, 1897 [LAT/SF]: “The steamer Hermosa was coming along at a fair speed in a rather thick fog [twenty miles south of the Golden Gate], when she ran into two whales that were lying close to the surface of the water. One of the whales was cut almost in two, and the water about the vessel was covered with blood. The Hermosa will probably go into the Merchants dry dock for repairs.”


September 12, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “C. W. Basey’s admission-day pleasure party to Santa Cruz Island, encountered a number of whales when returning in the afternoon, about the middle of the channel.”


November 27, 1897 [LAT]: “The San Diego Sun states that the schooner Lou has been chartered for a whaling cruise… If the cruise of the Lou is successful a whaling station will be at once reestablished.”


November 28, 1897 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Lou left this port yesterday on a whaling expedition in charge of E. T. Goddard of this city, an old and experienced whaler, who has spent a number of seasons in the Arctic regions…”


December 7, 1897 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Lou, which left this port about a week ago on a whaling expedition at Coronados Islands, returned Saturday without having captured any of the monsters…”


December 21, 1897 [LAT/Cor]: “The schooner Lou has again gone out on a whaling expedition in the vicinity of Coronado Islands. Only a few weeks ago she made an excursion in these waters, and had it not been for the premature discharge of one of the bombs she would surely have had a whale…”


December 21, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “A whale about sixty feet long lies on the shore near Naples. It was found floating in the channel by a fishing party and towed ashore. The owners expect to realize $200 from the find.”


August 17, 1898 [LAT]: “The Avalon people are now thinking of getting up a whaling cruise.”


May 21, 1899 [LAT]: “Wealth of the sea… The aggregate value of the sea products of the Pacific Coast for the year 1898… By far the most important is salmon… Next in value to salmon is whalebone, the value of which product is placed at $620,754…”


September 18, 1899 [NYT]: “A large whale was washed ashore on the east end of Santa Rosa Island on Friday, September 8. It was still alive when found, but expired shortly afterward. Captain Curran of the Santa Rosa stated that the whale was of a kind that he had never seen before. The monster was sixty feet in length.”


August 24, 1900 [LAT/SCat]: “The whales were on dress parade yesterday. The passengers on the Hermosa sighted more than a dozen of these big cetaceans on the trip over, and the Avalon’s passengers who went over to San Clemente Island yesterday also saw a number spouting near them, one big fellow seemingly more than twice the size of their boat, came up several times within less than a hundred yards of their vessel.”


March 1, 1901 [SBDI]: “Whales in channel. Sporting ground for them about the islands. Whales’ graveyard on Santa Rosa Island. Charles Frederick Holder tells an interesting story in the current number of Scientific American about the running down of whales in the Santa Barbara channel by steamers and points some of the supposed dangers to navigation from collision with the sea monsters… During the summer of 1900 the steamer Hermosa killed a whale off San Pedro, which was at least 80 feet in length… A curious incident may be related regarding the actions of a school of whales at the island of Santa Rosa… It was believed by those on the island that the whales became demoralized, as they deliberately ran ashore, and the remarkable sight of five or six large whales was observed helpless on the sands. Their bones remained for a long time on what became known as the whales’ graveyard.”


May 13, 1902 [SBMP]: “Several whales, southward bound, were seen in the channel yesterday. It is rather unusual to see several of them together in these waters, although solitary ones are often seen.”


November 21, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. George Farnsworth, skipper of the Nestella, was fishing out on the grouper banks the other day, when he heard an unusual noise. He looked about but saw nothing and concluded his ears had deceived him. A moment later the sound was repeated… suddenly a great white creature went scooting past him through the water, at a depth of only a few feet… The animal proved to be a white whale, the only one of the kind ever reported in these waters. ‘It did not spout, but at intervals made a grunting sound.’”


February 3, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Passengers on the Hermosa on the return trip to San Pedro yesterday were treated to the sight of a great school of whales disporting in close proximity to the steamer. There were more than a hundred of the leviathans and they seemed to be feeding on a lot of jellyfish that abounded in the vicinity at the time.”


March 29, 1904 [SBI]: “It is reported at San Pedro that a whale weighing 40,000 pounds has been found stranded on the island of San Clemente, twenty miles west of Santa Catalina, by George Sjoberg of the schooner Rose. The crew is now engaged stripping the blubber from the carcass and boiling out the oil.”


May 4, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Launches down at Seal Rocks this morning report that a school of seven whales were disporting themselves in a very airy manner there this morning.”


May 11, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Numerous whales are seen in the channel from steamers running between here and San Pedro.”


July 1, 1904 [SBMP]: “The large whale between fifty and seventy-five feet in length was discovered last Monday on Anacapa Island by Captain Koch of the schooner Pride.”


July 29, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The Meteor, on its return from the Isthmus barbecue yesterday, ran near two whales. Not fifty yards away the huge leviathans reared their might forms and spouted great columns of water. The ladies were satisfied, but that wasn’t all; one of the whales concluded to have a race with the boat, and for a quarter of an hour it swam along parallel with the steamer, and each time it ‘spouted’ the women almost went to fits.”


August 10, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A great school of whales passed up the island coast yesterday afternoon, spouting columns of spray into the air. One of the big creatures apparently broke away from the herd and came back this way, passing within a hundred yards of Sugar Loaf.”


September 2, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Captain Swenson of the power-launch Leone, which arrived last night with a catch of 6000 pounds of lobsters from San Nicolas Island, reports a desperate battle between a swordfish and two whales which occurred day before yesterday off that island and resulted in the death of both the whales, the bodies being later washed ashore by the tides and secured by Swenson. When first seen by Swenson the battle was at its height and the monsters of the seep were lashing the waves into fury in their desperate conflict, the huge bodies of the whales rising many feet out of the water in their attempt to inflict damage to their enemy. The swordfish, which was an exceptionally large specimen, had the fight all its own way, and succeeded in killing both its adversaries. The larger of the whales is about seventy feet in length and twenty feet in diameter, while the smaller is fifty-five feet in length and fifteen feet in diameter. The sword of the swordfish had entirely penetrated the body of the larger whale, and there were numerous jabs in the body of both. The bodies were washed upon the beach, and Captain Swenson made an ineffectual attempt to pull the small specimen off the beach and tow it to San Pedro, but the weight was too much for his engines. He thereupon covered the bodies with sand and will make an attempt to bring them over, using a larger boat. Captain Swenson states that he has been offered $100 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad to deliver the bodies of the whales at East San Pedro.”


March 7, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. William Moncrieffe, and Lee Ballington, cattlemen of Sheridan, Wyoming, who have been putting a bit of variety into their lives by spending a few weeks in fishing here, having the Nestella under charter, were witness to an ocean tragedy Saturday between a couple of marine monsters. They were several miles off shore, fishing for albacore, when their skipper George Farnsworth called their attention to a tremendous commotion in the water ahead. Huge columns of spray dashing upward at short intervals showed that a terrible combat was being waged by some powerful creature of the sea. Soon they discovered that one of the combatants was a whale… All was quiet for a time when to their astonishment a big swordfish leaped into the air, flourishing his sword and seemed to say to the spectators: ‘I’ve fixed him! And he went below to finish the job.’”


July 12, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Haron Rock of Montecito, Frank Knott of New York and Cameron Rogers enjoyed a pleasant fishing trip on the channel on Monday. They made the trip in Ira Eaton’s Irene... A large whale and a swordfish were sighted on the trip.”


August 3, 1905 [LAT/SB]: “The fishing launch Nina, now at this port, encountered four whales off Anacapa Island yesterday morning. A quick turn of the helm saved the craft from striking one, which rose up in the water dead ahead. Water which the monster spouted into the air was blown over the boat.”


August 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “The auxiliary yacht Vishnu arrived in port yesterday afternoon with a party of campers who have spent two weeks at Friar’s Harbor... Schools of whales were encountered in the channel, large numbers of them being seen at several different times. They are not frightened by the boats and can be approached without trouble. While coming across the channel yesterday, a number of whales followed the boat and sported in the water on both sides of it for a distance of several miles. They often came up close to the boat. While making a short trip to Scorpion Harbor at the East End of the island, four large whales were seen on Wednesday. One of them was a very large one, measuring over 60 feet in length. He came within fifty feet of the boat with most of his body out of the water. The sight of these large sea monsters was new to many of the party, and they reported it one of the most interesting features of the trip.”


November 3, 1905 [LAT]: “Many dead whales afloat in channel. The bodies of over twenty dead whales, known as ‘killers,’ are floating in the channel off San Nicolas Island, thirty miles from this city. The discovery was made by Walter Stafford, who has just returned from the islands in the launch Irene. These gigantic corpses, which measure from twenty to forty feet in length, bear mute evidence of a fierce battle between the monsters that inhabit the deep. This warfare has, to his knowledge, been going on between two varieties of whales and swordfish for several weeks in the ocean near the Channel Islands, and it is probable that in the extermination of so many of this variety of whale, a signal victory has been won by some of the marine leviathans over their adversaries. Two days ago, Captain Merry, while crossing the channel in the Vishnu, collided with the dead body of a common whale that measured over fifty feet in length. It was surrounded by a number of sharks that were feasting off the blubber… Ira Eaton described such a conflict, which he passed a few weeks ago. The water of the channel was torn up so fiercely by the monsters, that he was afraid to approach nearer than a quarter of a mile to the scene of the battle. At first he thought the whales were playing, as they leaped high out of the water. Henry Short saw a similar battle in one of the harbors of Santa Cruz, where the water boiled with agitation from the energy of the whales, and was in many places streaked with a red coloring of blood. Local fishermen and seal hunters rejoice in the destruction of the killers. They are a variety of whale, which are known to prey upon other large inhabitants of the channel, and have been seen to capture and devour baby seals, which are found in large numbers on the island reefs. What caused the death of so many whales at one time is not known, but it is believed that their most deadly foe is the swordfish, which are able to make deadly thrusts at the whales’ most vulnerable parts with their sword-like noses.”


March 21, 1906 [SBMP]: “The recent storms washed a seal into the whaling camp at Point Conception and it was caught by Floyd Castle who was employed at that place. It was a young leopard seal of fine coloring, and he hoped to bring it to this city, but it died.”


March 21, 1906 [SBMP]: “Charles Adler, a prominent resident of New York, who is registered with his family at the Potter Hotel, while out in the channel yesterday on a fishing excursion in the launch Nina sighted four humpbacked whales.”


July 8, 1906 [SBMP]: “Boatmen returning from the islands report that a number of whales have been seen during the last few days playing on the surface of the water.”


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...”


September 24, 1908 [SBMP]: “Eugene C. Larco, who has a crawfish camp established at the old whalers' camp near Point Conception, is here for a few days' visit. He reports poor success so far, owing to rough weather.”


January 7, 1909 [SBDP]: “Big dead whale floats ashore. A badly decomposed whale, measuring over fifty feet, but sufficiently malodorous for a mile, washed ashore early yesterday morning landing on the beach at the foot of Bath Street… Captain Vasquez visited the derelict and stated positively that the monster on the beach was a whale and considerably larger than the shark he towed off from Serena…”


January 7, 1909 [SBMP]: “The decaying whale, which as it became riper, proved after all to belong to the shark family… In the evening at high tide the Gussie M passed a line around the hulk and started to pull. Unfortunately just as the mass began to move in the breakers it went all to pieces, and the remnants scattered up and down the beach for a quarter of a mile. Thus where one problem existed before, now a dozen demand attention.”


April 13, 1909 [LAH]: “Long Beach, April 12. Five boys who returned yesterday after a cruise among the Santa Barbara and San Nicolas islands witnessed a fight between a whale, thresher shark and swordfish near San Nicolas. They say the memory of the terrific struggle between the three monsters of the deep will remain long in their minds. The lads found many remarkable curios, including Indian bones, war implements, beads, hammers and other things.”


November 17, 1910 [LAT]: “Avalon, November 16. Reports come from San Clemente Island that a large grey-backed whale was washed upon the shore of the west side of the island during the recent high tides. The report states that the whale made several attempts to get back into deep water after finding itself stranded but was unable to do so.”


April 7, 1912 [SBMP]: “Harpooning whales new sport in the channel is now inaugurated. John Borden, John Towne and Harry Scott will leave today on a most novel hunting trip. With a harpoon gun they expect to get something in the whale or shark line. The trio will operate about Santa Cruz Island where they intend to spend a couple months camping. Mr. Borden recently procured a harpoon gun such as is now used in whaling. The gun, which has a two inch bore and fires a harpoon about five feet long, has been mounted on the bow of the Gussie M, Captain Vasquez in command... The start will be made at 3 o’clock this afternoon, the party first going to Fry’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, where they will establish camp. Several ladies will accompany the valiant hunters, and will remain in camp while the big sport is on.”


April 11, 1912 [SBMP]: “Whale hunters driven from camp by rain. John Borden and his friends returned yesterday afternoon from Santa Cruz Island where they had been camping since Sunday. They were driven home by the continued rain which made camp life [at Fry’s Harbor] not quite so comfortable as it would have been under drier conditions. Mr. Borden went equipped for whale hunting, having a modern outfit consisting of harpoon gun and other paraphernalia, the Gussie M, Captain Vasquez being engaged for the cruise. One whale was sighted, and strenuous efforts were made to bag the mammal, but the harpoon missed the mark. The sport will be renewed, however, when weather conditions are more favorable.”


April 12, 1912 [SBMP]: “Whale hunting is abandoned. Whale hunting in the Santa Barbara channel has been abandoned for this season by John Borden, and his captain, Fremon C. Arey, has returned to Camden Maine. The results were not altogether unsatisfactory, and some other time, it is expected, the efforts will be resumed. The experiments have shown some possibilities for improvement in methods. Mr. Borden expects to leave in a few days for his home in Chicago.”


April 23, 1912 [SBI]: “Whales in Santa Barbara Channel are safe until next season. John Borden, Captain Fremon, A. Arey and Captain Vasquez have given up whale hunting for this season. Captain Arey has returned to his home in Camden, Maine. Mr. Borden will leave for Chicago in a few days.”


April 25, 1909 [LAH]: “Long Beach. April 24. Asserting that he had been in no trouble, and that his store of provisions would have lasted four days linger, Milton McMillan, who returned to San Pedro late last night in the launch May from San Nicolas Island, laughed at the plans which were being made to start a rescue party. The trip home from the island was made in twelve hours. The May is schooner rigged and came home with sails full of wind. Tonight McMillan started for San Nicolas with a larger party. The object of his trip was to secure the skeleton of an enormous whale. He found the skeleton so buried in the sand that some time will be required to exhume it. En route to the island McMillan encountered some strong winds and put in for shelter at Catalina Island, and later at Santa Barbara Island.”


August 5, 1912 [LAT]: “Avalon. Fishermen have narrow escape. Expecting every second to be hurled skyward by a swirl of the tail of a whale, Captain George Michaelis and Captain George Farnsworth had a thrilling experience today. Returning from Newport Beach, Captain George Michaelis sighted the whale basking in the sun… It was every bit of ninety feet…”


September 29, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Several whale hunting trips have been made during the past week, Captain George Michaelis acting as gunner, but so far none of the attempts to kill a whale have been successful.”


September 29, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Great whale is spouting about in the channel. To have a whale as long as a torpedo boat and with a tail half of which was higher than a one story house, rise up out of the water and begin to spout not two feet from where you are fishing in a frail rowboat far from shore, is a rather thrilling experience. This is the adventure which befell Desk Sergeant W. J. Wall of the police department…”


October 2, 1914 [LAT/SB]: “A huge whale chased Police Sergeant W. J. Wall and his wife while they were on a fishing trip at Santa Cruz Island yesterday. They arrived today with the thrilling story of their experience. ‘We were in a small boat,’ said Wall. ‘Suddenly Mrs. Wall saw what she mistook for a house not more than fifty yards away. Then the monster began to spout and almost waterlogged our boat. It disappeared and came up nearer us. I never rowed so hard in all my life in getting back to shore.’ From descriptions the whale is the largest of its kind seen in the bay in many years.”


August 2, 1915 [SBDNI]: “’We caught a 76-foot whale and a lot of fish that were a little smaller,’ is the report of W. A. Brackenridge, G. A. Batchelder and R. H. Gaud who returned today from a ten days’ fishing trip along the Channel Islands. All three of the party stand by the whale story… The party was fishing for smaller game when they sighted the whale, evidently wounded and floundering on the rock off Santa Cruz Island. They came along side the whale which was about helpless and after getting a rope hitch about the tail of the big fellow they pulled it out to sea to let it float away, but by the contrariness of wind and tide it was washed back to the beach where it will probably stay and smell to heaven for some time to come.”


August 3, 1915 [SBMP]: “This fish yarn seems quite possible. Mariners stake whale claim then Captain Eaton jumps it. When George A. Batchelder, W. A. Brackenridge and R. H. Gaud went to Pelican Bay on a fishing trip a week ago, they declared when they came home they would have a big catch to report. They came home yesterday noon, and sure enough, they had that big catch story with them. They caught a whale, and a big one too. Last Saturday as Messrs. Batchelder and Gaud were out fishing in a small boat at a point about a mile up the coast from Pelican Bay, they discovered a huge object floating on the surface of the water, and soon discovered that it was a dead whale. It had evidently not been dead long, for blood was issuing from wounds in the side, making it seem probably that it had succumbed to the attack of swordfish or some other enemy of the whale kind. Having a tape line in their fishing kit, the whale was measured and found to be seventy-six feet long…”


January 7, 1916 [SBMP]: “The somewhat unusual spectacle of a school of whales was seen offshore opposite the Potter Hotel yesterday morning... The whales continued their spouting for half an hour, and then disappeared.”


April 11, 1916 [SBDN]: “Three big whales spouted in the channel this morning. The sight was witnessed by a large number of people on the west boulevard, and from the wharf. At first the silvery spray the whales shot into the air was mistaken for the periscopes of submarines…”


April 26, 1916 [SBDN]: “Captain George W. Gourley today received notice from the Southern Pacific freight agent that if he would call at the office and pay $1.45 charges, ‘two bones’ would be turned over to him. Of course, ‘two bones’ means ‘two dollars’ in slangology, but the captain had a feeling that it was not coin of the realm that awaited him. He called at the freight station and there found two whale bones weighing 278 pounds, sent him by a friend at Point Conception. The gift followed a suggestion made by Captain Gourley some time ago that he would like to have a little of the whale bone at the old whaling camps near Conception to use in making trolling outfits. These take a piece of bone about the size of a finger so the captain has enough bone to make several hundred thousand outfits. One of the bones will be cut up for the trolling bait and the other will be held until someone who can use it for a hitching post calls for it. The bone trolling bait, Captain Gourley says, makes a much better bait than live bait. It moves through the water quickly with an appearance like that of a small fish, and with it barracuda, yellowtail, rock bass, bonita and albacore can be caught. Captain Gourley twenty years ago with Mr. Larco brought from Point Conception the whale bone which has since served as a hitching post in front of the Larco fish store on lower State Street.”


August 1, 1916 [SBMP]: “Last Sunday two big humpback whales disported themselves in the waters of the bay outside the kelp beds and created a good deal of excitement among the spectators on shore…”


October 25, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain Chris Albersen of the powerboat, Mascot, with his crew shot and killed an enormous whale at San Miguel Island a few days ago, and he came to the mainland with his prize, a big lot of baleen, the whalebone of commerce, last Monday afternoon. The whale was nearly fifty-two feet long, and it was sighted as Captain Albersen and his men were gathering guano on the island for the Los Angeles market, he having been engaged in that traffic for a long time past. The unusual cargo of the Mascot commanded a great deal of interest as the little craft lay at the wharf yesterday and the day before.”


October 25, 1916 [SBMP]: “Whale whets teeth on Jap fishing boat. A whale attacked the Japanese fishing boat Toyo off the west shore of Catalina Island late today, tearing five ribs from the bow, according to T. Yura, owner and commander of the Toyo, and four Japanese sailors who were aboard. The Japanese claimed the whale appeared suddenly at the bow of the boat and made a fierce attack, tearing the ribs out with its teeth. Yura said the water compartments saved the boat from sinking. Other fishing smacks towed the Toyo to the shipyard of B. Euchi at San Pedro. The Toyo is about thirty feet long.”


October 28, 1916 [LAT]: “Passengers on the steamer Yale, which arrived here today from San Francisco, were greatly excited at 56 A.M. when the vessel hit a huge whale off Santa Rosa Island. The steamer shook as of on the rocks when the leviathan was hit and many of them were awakened and ran out on deck. Order was soon restored when the officers assured the passengers there had been no danger.”


January 5, 1917 [SBMP]: “Mike Stanovitch, a fisherman, went to sea today in his gasoline launch Standard, a thirty-two-foot craft, but four miles off shore, heading for San Clemente Island, a sixty-foot black whale, he said, without provocation, switched his tail against the good ship Standard, pitching her skipper overboard. Stanovitch clambered back and rescued a skiff just as his launch went down, and was picked up by a fishing schooner.”


October 26, 1918 [SBMP]: “Humpback whales are consorting out in the Santa Barbara channel. For more than a week reports have been coming into port from fishermen that huge whales can be seen almost any hour of the day blowing, not a great distance from the shoreline, while around the islands. It is said a veritable school can be observed between sunrise and sunset.”


August 24, 1917 [SBDN]: “Commodore C. L. Lloyd and his brave crew of the Royal ran into a school of whales on their long cruise just ended. The cruise was one of adventure, the whales coming as a climax to an eventful week, during which the Royal touched at many harbors among the Channel Islands, carried help to a a scientific party scouting the channel waters for strange marine life, and made many a Santa Barbara man and woman better acquainted with the island group…”


July 23, 1918 [SDET]: “Awful dead whale offends kelp men who want it sunk. Loudly demanding a funeral, according to Capt. A. A. Morris of the Hercules Powder Company, who was at sea yesterday on the tug Bahada, an enormous defunct whale is derelict off San Clemente Island and raising an odor the like of which was never equaled aboard a scow of kelp. The captain reported the calamity to Harbormaster W. A. Mugler, who promptly ordered a watch set at the harbor entrance to prevent the late lamented from entering here. It is not known just when the whale passed away, but the tug crew affirm it must have been a very long while ago, as the odor therefrom responds to every human sense. At a distance of five miles, they say, that whale can be smelled, see, heard, tasted and felt. Its mortal remains are reported to be 80 feet long and to be riding four feet out of the water, while its aura is reported to be endless and to be riding very high indeed. The men are hoping that the naval authorities will use it for a target. According to the authorities this report is not to be confused in any way with that of a reported raider near here, as the whale is far to the northward and the raider has not passed the harbor entrance yet.”


August 3, 1920 [SBMP]: “Thirty-five passengers on board the gasoline launch, Okay, [OK], Captain Jerry Shively, received an unexpected thrill in the channel waters Sunday afternoon when the sturdy craft collided with and then slid gracefully across the reinforced spine of a huge whale. The Okay, headed for Santa Barbara, was kicking up a foamy sea about one hour out from Santa Cruz Island where those on board, including many school teachers, had been spending the weekend rusticating among the caves and grottos. Everything went well until about mid-channel, when suddenly the Okay seemed to falter and sway, and then her propeller churning wildly ‘cruised’ across the pulpy mass which proved to be a sea mammal of no mean proportions. Excitement prevailing at once, several in the party suggested that Captain Shively get out his cutlass and slice off a few steaks. Other brave ones were for harpooning the mammal outright and then towing the carcass into port for exhibition purposes, if nothing else. In the meantime, the deep sea rover, realizing his predicament sank from view much to the relief of the pedagogues, who feared the old boy would disport among the billows by splashing the boat to pieces with his powerful tail.”


April 1, 1925 [LAT]: “Off the coast of California in San Miguel Island, about a mile out from Miguel, is a double island called Flea Island. Here the big Steller sea lions make their home. A few years ago I was on Flea Island, taking pictures of the lions and their young. They paid little attention to us. The greater part of the herd was out in the water. The mothers of these cubs who were old enough were teaching them to swim. Three large killer whales came toward the island, swimming slowly, side by side, now above, now below the surface, but never going down far enough to submerge the dorsal fins… Henry M. Van Depolele in Adventure Magazine.”


November 8, 1926 [SDET]: “Whaler fleet gets ready for kill. Off for its annual conquest of the mammals of the deep the Mexico Whaling corporation's fleet is scheduled to steam out of Los Angeles harbor today for Magdalena Bay, Lower California, for an expected record season. It is the third winter off the lower peninsula, and the fleet goes forth this time better fitted than ever for the fray. Leading the column will be the 5000-ton steamer Esperanca, arrived off San Pedro Saturday from Norway to take 13,000 barrels of fuel oil for the winter;s base. She is a combination factory and tanker, and supplants the factory ship Mexico and the tanker Balboa, diverted to other services. Following her will be the sturdy killer boats, Norrona II Hanka and Colombus with their powerful engines and whaling guns in the bows, which fire several hundred pounds of barbed steel into the mammals. They will be joined by a fourth killer, the Lorenc Brun, just arrived at Magdalena Bay from Norway. Capt. Willian Kihl, master of the Erperanca, will be operating manager of the fleet, manned in all by more than 150 experienced whalers from Norway. Five hundred whales were killed and 15,000 barrels of oil was last winter's record, which should be increased to 20,000 barrels this season, according to Capt. Bryde of G. M. Bryde & Co., of Los Angeles, agents for the fleet. The vessels will return again early in June for the summer's overhaul at the Los Angeles shipyards and the lay-off until the season opens again. Another whaling expedition right at Los Angeles' front door will get under way between the 10th and 15th, according to Capt. Bryde, when the California Sea Products Company of San Francisco begins operations at South Bay, San Clemente Island, only 70 miles from San Diego. The fleet, commanded by Capt. F. K. Dedrick, president of the company, comprises four killer boats and the steamer Lansing of 7500 tons dead weight. The latter has not only a modern refinery aboard, but a plant for making fertilizer and chicken feed, and tanks holding thousands of barrels of whale oil. The steamer will employ 90 men and the killers a dozen each.”


December 27, 1926 [SDET]: “Whaler fleet in San Diego waters. The familiar dry of “Thar she blows” is being heard again off southern California shores, after respite of more than 60 years in these waters. This time it is through the arrival at South Bay, San Clemente Island, 70 miles from San Diego, of the California Sea Products company's fleet, with its modern tanker-factory ship, powerful pursuit boats and modern guns. The fleet arrived from San Francisco last Thursday and, after a stormy two days, now is reported catching numerous whales. It comprises the 7500-ton steamer Lansing and four killer boats, with Capt. F. K. Dedrick, president of the company aboard. The Lansing has not only a modern refinery aboard, but a plant for making fertilizer and chicken feed as well, and tanks for holing thousands of barrels of whale oil. She carries 90 men, while the killers each are manned by a dozen. Whales, particularly of the blue variety, are reported in numbers in the island waters, with an occasional finback putting in an appearance. The killer boats will cruise over a radius of 50 to 100 miles from their base, stalking and killing their quarry and towing them to the Lansing at South Bay for reduction. Word from the Mexico Whaling corporation, whose fleet left here in October for Magdalena Bay, lower California, is that all seasonal records to date have been shattered, and the last winter mark of 15,000 barrels may even be doubled if the whales continue as plentiful as they are now. Until the coming of Capt. G. M. Bryde of Norway three years ago whaling was forgotten in these parts. Now it is a considerable industry out of this port, and a considerable part of the fleets' products is marketed in Los Angeles and used in factories there.”


July 4, 1927 [LAT]: “San Diego, July 3. Caught in the surf at La Jolla, about 200 yards from shore, just below Scripps Hospital, a gigantic whale, believed to have been washed in with the high tides of Friday night, attracted the attention of hundreds of persons along the highway today… The animal was probably killed by whalers off San Clemente Island some time ago…”


July 16, 1927 [SBMP]: “Isham's Whaling Party is Success: 80-Footer Caught. Albert Isham's whaling party was a whale of a success. The fifteen Santa Barbarans who are Mr. Isham's guests on the trip near San Clemente caught an 80-foot whale yesterday morning according to word received here. It took the whale hunters who were on the boat chartered by Mr. Isham more than three hours to capture the king of the sea after it had been harpooned. A boat which purchases whales recently left San Pedro for Mexican waters, or the catch of the local men could have been sold for $3000. As it is, the mammal was taken to Avalon, where it is being exhibited.”


July 18, 1927 [SBMP]: “Santa Barbarans Lose Whale in Fight off San Clemente. San Pedro, July 17.—A new and sometimes profitable sport for wealthy sportsmen was inaugurated today with the return to port of the whaler Diamond from San Clemente Island. The Diamond was chartered for a weekend party by Albert H. Isham, wealthy Santa Barbara resident. With Isham, his father, Ralph Isham, and a party of friends, the boat was sailed to San Clemente Island where fishermen have been reporting large schools of whales. A whale 80 feet long was sited and the first harpoon shot landed. After 1800 feet of cable had been played out, however, the big mammal towed the whaling vessel as if it were a rowboat and at last snapped the two-and-a-half inch Italian hemp cable. The cable has a lifting strength of 60 tons. Two hours later the same whale was sighted again and after three more shots was landed. Its weight was estimated by Capt. G. M. Bryde of San Pedro, commander of the Diamond, at 90 tons. He said 30 barrels of oil, worth in excess of $1000, would be obtained. The Isham party included 20 persons from Santa Barbara, Montecito, San Rafael and Los Angeles.”


October 31, 1927 [SDET]: “Find dead whale followed lure of music to many ports. Mexican knives are probing for blubber and oil in the carcass of the “music loving” whale, which was lured into the limelight by the strains of jazz bands. This word was brought back yesterday by special sleuths investigating rumors that the Pacific Beach whale had been washed onto the shores of South San Diego. That the whale loved music was shown by the fact that it first went ashore at Venice dance hall, after being ousted from there, visited the surf near the Pacific Beach pier. Last week it was towed to sea. Reports later came that it had beached at South San Diego. It must have been the strains of Tijuana dance music that proved the last lure to the mammal, for its body is reported ashore a few miles south of the international line, where its blubber and oil are being confiscated.”


May 23, 1928 [LAT]: “California Sea Products Company will shift its permanent base to Southern California, will add three costly craft to its fleet, and anticipates a 30,000 barrel harvest representing $750,000 of new wealth, Captain F. K. Dedrick, president, announced yesterday. The fleet now is at Beecher’s Bay in the island of Santa Rosa, and will shift to Pyramid Harbor, San Clemente Island, next week as the local season gets under way. The present craft comprise the factory-tanker Lansing, and the three killing boats Hawk, Hercules and Traveler, the latter coming in with the captain and his son, F. D. Dedrick, fleet superintendent, yesterday. To this fleet will be added first the Port Saunders, rebuilt at a cost of $50,000, after a collision in San Francisco, scheduled to join the fleet in two weeks. Also being fitted out with modern cooking apparatus as a reduction ship is the former coast defense vessel Monterey, to join the fleet next fall. Captain Dedrick yesterday announced plans also for the construction of two greater killers, 108 feet long, each carrying 500 horse-power steam engines giving a speed of fourteen knots, and each costing $175,000. They will be built at once, probably at San Francisco, and will be ready for service in the fall. By then the fleet will have the factory tanker, the reduction ship and six killers, and a personnel probably double the 114 men now in the fleet. Instead of going to Alaska, they will ply the waters here until midsummer, and in the fall will go into waters off Lower California where Captain Dedrick recently obtained a whaling concession. ‘We reduced 17,000 barrels last year; we expect to do at least 30,000 this year,’ he declared. Whale oil is now selling at around $25 a barrel, which would bring the fleet’s gross harvest to around $750,000.”


August 25, 1932 [LAT]: “The phantom ‘destroyer disguised as a tanker,’ which rumor recently had spying on the United States Fleet at sea, has been identified. She is the California, formerly the lumber schooner Willamette, and now converted into a whaling factory ship. As such she has been cruising about the Santa Barbara and Santa Catalina islands, trying to avoid the locale of the warships which frighten away the whales so the California’s attendant fleet of killer boats cannot harpoon them… The California was to come into port last night or today with her first haul of whale oil, some 550 barrels, which she is expected to deliver to the new Proctor & Gamble plant in Long Beach. She belongs to the California Whaling Company, headed by Captain F. K. Dedrick of San Francisco, who formerly owned the California Sea Products Company, which whaled here several years with the Lansing and several killer boats. The Lansing was sold to sardine reducers of San Pedro, and its reduction gear transferred to the Willamette. The latter has been in Southern California waters since the 5th inst., and her killers have taken an average of more than one whale daily. One whale was a 90-ton sulphur bottom, the largest mammal taken in these waters in many years.”


August 26, 1932 [LAT]: “America’s whaling industry, which pioneered the nation’s exploitation of the seas, has centered its dwindling operations on Los Angeles Harbor. A Department of Commerce statement, just issued, reveals that the thirteen whalers still remaining under the American flag, totaling 2917 gross tons, all are based on the Pacific coast, and of the total, seven operate from the local port. Thus the warm waters of the Channel Islands contain the remnants of the hardy wind-driven fleets, out of Bedford and New Salem, that once coursed every sea and pursued their giant game in tropic heat and polar cold. At the peak of its activity in 1858, the American whaling industry numbered nearly 900 vessels, of 198,594 gross tons. In 1868, due to the Civil War, the fleet had decreased to only 349 ships, of 78,486 tons, while in 1900 there were in service but forty-two American whalers, of 9899 gross tons. Latest addition to the Los Angeles whaling fleet is the former coastwise lumber steamer Willamette, renamed California and being reconditioned as a whaling factory ship for local operation by the California Whaling Company. With the killer ship Columbus, renamed Monterey, the California will next week establish an operating base in a San Clemente Island anchorage and operate until January 1. Captain F. K. Dedrick, general manager, expects to secure a minimum of 800 tons of whale oil monthly, in addition to a new plan for disposing of whale meat for manufacture of dog and cat food.”


October 26, 1932 [LAT]: “Newport Beach, October 25. It’s whaling time here now. Anchored offshore between this city and Huntington Beach is the California, formerly the old lumber schooner Willamette, and now operating as a whaling ship. With the arrival of the ship in southern waters a new industry has been inaugurated giving employment and also providing produce for two new industries opened on the inland… Captain F. K. Dedrick of San Francisco is in charge of the whaling expedition and the whaling factory operating aboard the ship owned by the California Whaling Company. This is said to be the only whaling ship that has whaling refrigeration. Whales are caught almost daily and there are now 100 tons of choice whale steaks and roasts frozen in the refrigerator to be used for human consumption. Cheaper cuts will be shipped to a new dog and cat food factory at Los Alamitos and about 600 barrels of whale oil extracted will be shipped through Long Beach Harbor to the Proctor & Gamble soap plant. Seven killers operate on the smaller whaling boat, Fort Saunders, in the waters between the Santa Barbara Islands and Santa Catalina. Brought to the mother ship, the whale is cut into sections and hoisted on deck, where it is sorted for either the vat, where the oil is boiled out, or is dispatched to the refrigerator. Twenty-four men operate the factory and manage the ship’s activity. The ship later will move into waters near San Clemente Island.”


February 4, 1935 [LAT]: “Unusual success of whaling operations in the local area this season has inspired formation of another fleet, to chase leviathans in the Gulf of California. As part of the new fleet, the tiny thirty-year-old ‘killer’ steamers Barbara and Clemente are being rebuilt at the Wilmington Boat Works… Meanwhile the fleet of the California Whaling Company, based now off Point Dume, is enjoying its busiest season in many years. Captain F. K. Dedrick, president, said yesterday that during January his killer boats Port Saunders and Hawk delivered to the factory ship California twenty-four California grey whales, the best month’s showing in the company’s history. The California fleet will remain in the Point Dume area throughout the finback and blue whale season, now beginning.”


November 29 1935 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Whaling ship's repairs completion set for today. The whaling ship California, which nearly sank last Tuesday while operating in the vicinity of Santa Barbara Island, was expected to finish with her repairs today in the Los Angeles shipyard. Placed in drydock on Wednesday, surveyors found several small leaks in her hull which were easily repaired. The ship was brought into the local port under Coast Guard convoy.”


March 16, 1936 [LAT]: “The Pacific shipping industry lost one of its most colorful and best-known figures yesterday in the death in Santa Barbara Hospital of Captain Frederick N. Dedrick, general manager of the California Whaling Company, following injuries received here late Saturday, while whaling off the Channel city. Captain Dedrick, who was 40 years of age, was struck in the chest by the breech of the harpoon gun aboard the killer boat, Port Saunders, when it recoiled after he had fired at a whale being pursued. He was rushed the fourteen miles to Santa Barbara, but failed to rally from loss of blood and internal injuries. With his father, captain F. N. Dedrick of San Pedro, president of the company, Captain Dedrick founded the whaling fleet, which has operated successfully in local waters for the last eight years with San Clemente Island as a seasonal base. He leaves a window, who has been living at the family home in San Pedro; two sons, in school at San Francisco, and his parents, also residing in San Pedro. The body was taken to San Francisco yesterday for funeral services Wednesday from Suhr’s funeral parlor.”


September 14, 1936 [SDET]: “Move to San Pedro with whale display. Daisy left the waterfront today. Daisy, a giant whale which was caught recently off San Clemente Island, has been on exhibit on a barge at the south side of Broadway Pier for the last two weeks. The barge was taken in tow by a tug from San Pedro, where Ray George, manager of the whale exhibit, plans to have it on display.”


July 25, 1937 [LAT]: “Receivers for the California Whaling Company have put the whaling-factory ship California back in operation again off Southern California island, and within little more than a fortnight, have handled fifteen finbacks, sei and humpback whales. The killer boats Hawk and Port Saunders again are serving the mother ship, which this time is being operated as a barge. Operation had ceased a year ago, following the death of Captain F. K. Dedrick, head of the company, soon after the loss of his son when a killer gun exploded. High mark for any one day saw four whales taken. Many huge gray whales are reported off shore, but they may not be taken except between November and February under recent international treaty.”


August 9, 1937 [LAT]: “The familiar whaling cry of ‘Thar she blows,’ recently echoing again off local waters in resumption of operations by the California Whaling Company, will attain increasing crescendo with a reported deal for three killer boats, long tied up in this port. The killers are the Santa Barbara, San Clemente and the El Cano; the reputed purchaser, William F. Floyd & Co. Consummation is expected early this week, but it is not known whether a new factory ship will be served by them, or the trio will whale for the California Company. The three vessels have been laid up for years at Bethlehem yards, except for an occasional motion picture job, and are reported well-kept up, and ready to go to sea with a minimum of attention. Whales are reported plentiful off nearby islands, and the two killers serving the factory ship California have taken many since the fleet became active one and a half months ago. The company suspended operations more than a year ago following the death of Captain F. K. Dedrick and his son, the later by an exploding whaling gun… Today the California company is conducting the only whaling operations on the Pacific Coast.”


March 31, 1939 [LAT]: “Inactive for two years, the whaling factory ship California and the killer boat Port Saunders, will be towed by the Crowley tug No. 25 this weekend to San Francisco, where they will be reconditioned and placed in the shark-fishing trade off California. The two ships and the killer Hawk recently were bought at bankruptcy sale by John R. Griggs of the Bay City, and mark the passing of the old California Whaling Company active out of Southern California until the death of its president, Captain F. K. Dedrick.”


August 3, 1945 [SBNP]: “The fishing boat Santa Clara limped into Santa Barbara harbor Thursday night, her propeller bent by an encounter with what skipper Martin Lytle judged to be a killer whale. Lytle and his wife, Dorothy, were returning from a fishing trip near Catalina and were off the west end of Anacapa Island when the large creature attacked the Santa Clara. The attacker, which came up under the boat, lifted the stern about two feet out of the water, was cut by the propeller and then disappeared. Mrs. Lytle said that the whale appeared to be injured, for it momentarily floundered before disappearing… The boat is owned by George V. Castagnola.”


Whaling vessels & crews.

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