San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 58, 28 July 1900
Courtesy from the the California Digital Newspaper


Searching for the Bonita.
The insurance companies are making an effort to locate and raise the pilot boat Bonita that was sunk by a whale off the Farallones a few days ago; Early yesterday morning the tug Ida W went out to the spot. where the vessel went down and began dragging for her. The pilot boat's kedge anchor was down when she began to fill so the chances are she has not drifted very far. Should the Ida W locate the wreck an attempt will be made to raise and bring her into San Francisco, where she will be repaired. There is a considerable amount of insurance on the Bonita and the underwriters do not like to pay it out without first attempting to recover the vessel. The insurance men seem to think that the damage to her is not so very great and that a few thousand dollars may raise and repair the vessel. In any event the trial is being made. It was not successful yesterday, but another try will be made today. The pilot boat America has taken up the Bonita's cruise. She was formerly a white vessel, but Captain F. Jordan has had her painted black for the occasion and now the longshoremen say she is in mourning for the loss of the Bonita.



Los Angeles Herald, Volume XXVII, Number 294, 22 July 1900
Courtesy from the the California Digital Newspaper


SUNK BY A BIG WHALE
Pilot Boot Bonita Goes to the Bottom
COLLISION OFF FARALLONES
Crew Has Little Time to Take to Boats
The Craft Takes a Header Fifteen Minutes After She la Struck. A Partlclarly Thrillins Experience
San Francisco, July 21.—The pilot boat Bonita was struck by a whale, six miles southeast of the Farallones, last night. She sank in 15 fathoms of water a few hours afterwards.
Captain Scott and the crew of the wrecked pilot boat were brought to the city on the collier Wellington, this morning. On Friday evening the lookout on the Bonita sighted the lights of the tug Relief, with the dismantled bark J. C. Pfluger in tow. The pilot boat was hove to and Capt. Freeman was sent aboard the bark in the Bonita's yawl. On his way both he and the two men who were rowing him nearly lost their lives. An immense school of small fish surrounded the boat and, attracted by the light which the pilot was holding in his hand, they began jumping into the yawl. For a few seconds it looked like a swamping but Pilot Freeman hid the light and made his boatmen stop rowing and in a few moments the danger was past. Two hours later the Bonita was making her way slowly in the direction of the lightship. Without a moment's notice and like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky something struck her on the port quarter and a few moments later she was waterlogged. Captain Scott made, the following statement: "A brief examination showed that the Bonita was badly stove below the water line and was sinking. I got the pumps to work, but we could not control the in-rush, and 15 minutes after the accident the water was up to the lockers in the cabin. I got the crew on deck and had the boats put in the water. At midnight we kedged the boat, lowered all the sails and prepared to leave. I sent Captains Swanson, Wallace and Miller and Steward Lannon and two men to the Grade S., which was near by, while the boatkeeper, a sailor"and myself staid by the ship. "For a couple of hours we hung on to' the main sheet and then, as it looked as though she might go down at any moment, we cast off. At 3:10 a. m. she I was in her death throes. She took a list to port gave tvvo or three heavy rolls, then careened to starboard, and finally settled down ........... I saw of the Bonita was end of her main boom, and it was sticking straight i up like a mast.Captain Swanson said: "As soon as the shock came I rushed on deck and saw an old grayback whale coming up. For a second or two It seemed to wallow around as though stunned, and then it ranged up alongside. For a few seconds it was motionless, and then It started away with a rush that left a phosphorescent streak a mile long behind it."