Monday, July 4, 2011

In January of 1889, this was the action down at Apra Harbor :


"Lydia" from San Francisco, CA  (January 11)

"Hunter" from San Francisco, CA  (January 22)

"Capleton Pidgeon" from San Francisco, CA  (January 30)


"Lydia"  on January 18, to continue fishing

  • All three ships came from San Francisco so we can expect a largely American crew, though most ships were a real United Nations of different races and colors.
  • A stop over in Hawaii and other places was not unlikely.
  • The "Lydia" stayed a week on Guam.  Its officers and crew mixed with the local population.
  • The ships carried no cargo, other than "lastre" (Spanish) or "ballast," dead weight to give the ship balance.  This was, perhaps, to allow the ships space to load their catch from fishing.  This was almost certainly whaling.
  • Other monthly reports show an average of three to five ships a month, each staying about a week on Guam. 
  • Some Chamorro boys and young men joined the ships and sailed away as whalers and seamen, most never to return.
  • Chamorros, especially Hagåtña and Sumay residents, were very familiar with Americans long before 1898.  Even Padre Palomo was said to have some command of English gained through his familiarity with American and British whalers and travelers to Guam.

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