Sampan Palmyra and Passengers Before Sailing

Dublin Core


Sampan Palmyra and Passengers Before Sailing


This article outlines the sailing plans and crew of the sampan Palmyra, a gasoline powered fishing vessel designed to make a fast journey to and from Palmyra.

This was the first attempt by its new owners, the Fullard-Leo's, to make a profit from the atoll, and though it would eventually fail because of local politics, the effort was big news for locals.

The articles most significant feature is its prominent photograph of both the vessel and the crew.



Honolulu Advertiser




Public Domain





Text Item Type Metadata


Youthful desire to go to sea and seek adventure made the hustle and bustle incident to the departure yesterday morning of the motor sampan Palmyra for the Palmyra Islands a bit exciting, and “Teddy” Dranga, Hilo Boy Scout, supplied something of the excitement and romance incident to the cruise to these little islands several hundred miles south of Honolulu.

No real sea-going craft should slip her moorings for a long journey without lots of hurry and bustle, and make the departure different from most departures for the present day.

Teddy wasn’t interested in the Palmyra until just thirty minutes before sailing time. He reported as usual at 7:30 o’clock at the Matson wharf where he is employed as freight checker, whittled his pencil to its most efficient length, count boxes for an hour and then his gaze swept Eastward and he spotted the Palmyra at the end of pier 15.

Youth’s inquisitiveness overcame concentration and “Teddy” just had to look the Palmyra over, so pad and pencil took a berth on top of a crate while Dranga gave the Palmyra the double O. It suited him. He became a bit excited. He suddenly felt he wanted to make the cruise.

He jogged L.A. Thurston’s elbow and asked straight from the shoulder if there wasn’t room for another in the crew, one who would work. The suggestion was rather sudden and Mr. Thurston hesitated, but the boy assured him it was all right, and if he would say “yes,” he would give up his job and be ready to go on schedule time. Thurston is a bit of a boy himself when he sees adventure ahead and he said it would be O.K., inasmuch as Edwin Benner, Jr., who has been making the trips right along was ill with the flu.

“Teddy” ran along the Matson wharf, turned in his pads, announced he would like to have his resignation accepted right away, explained the situation, and jumped on his motorcycle and in fifteen minutes was back again his his dunnage bag.

“Here I am,” said Teddy, and he was accepted.

Then he wanted five minutes to go uptown for a pair of shoes and was back in the stated time. He turned his motorcycle over to a friend, and went aboard, ready, he said, to tackle anything from handling ropes, to watching pans and pots.

“What will your father say when he hears about your going away!” asked Charley Crane.

“Well, I won’t be around to hear him, will I,” retorted “Teddy”, with a broad smile.

Before sailing time a stowaway was discovered hiding aboard. He is a waterfront habitue, and was soon put ashore.

The departure of the Palmyra was quite an event on the front. L.A. Thurston is making the trip to remain there six weeks, returning on the second trip of the sampan. He is accompanied by M. Vasconcellos, a sort of Man Friday to Mr. Thurston, always accompanying him on his big hikes and exploring trips, having gone to Lanai some time ago with him. He is as much interested in land shell gathering as Mr. Thurston, the latter having collected land shells in the islands for half a century or more. In the party was also D.D. Thannum, of the Hilo Post-Herald.

William H. Aldrich, the motion picture man, was on hand and secured a considerable footage of films of the departure of the argonauts.

The Ad club gave an official aloha, a committee consisting of Ed Towse, president; Vaughen MaeCaughey, Jack Atkinson, Dr. Herbert E. Gregory, James T. Taylor, Eben Low, George Denison, Charles Crane and Albion Clark, boarding the launch at the wharf to shake hands and bid cruisers bon voyage.

The Palmyra takes 2000 gallons of gasolene, a good supply of watermelons and sugar and other necessities of a long cruise and the stay on the islands of four of the party. The cruisers signed on as members of the crew to work their passage.

The Palmyra will make her usual fish-taking trip, returning here in a few weeks with a few tons of fish which are so plentiful in Palmyra waters. Mrs. E. Fullard-Leo, who is a member of the company operating the sampas, was on hand with Joe Stickney, also a member of the company.


“Sampan Palmyra and Passengers Before Sailing,” Palmyra Archive, accessed November 29, 2020,


Copy the code below into your web page