Way Back When: Wild Weather on Santa Cruz Island
By Betsy J. Green
WAY BACK WHEN in February 1919, a group of Hollywood actors was sailing to a filming location on Santa Cruz Island when a winter storm hit.
“Headwinds and huge combers at the start crippled one of the engines, and sails were immediately pressed into service. However, owing to a steady wind from the north, the sails were soon ripped to ribbons, and then it was discovered that the yacht was leaking … Tossed about by the rough sea for three days, [they were] finally compelled to ground the yacht in a narrow harbor on Santa Cruz Island.”
Eventually, the actors made it onto the island, and filmed scenes for “The Island of Intrigue” which was released in April. Although, I’m guessing the actors were thinking that the movie might be titled, “And They Never Saw Them Again.”
A scene from “The Island of Intrigue” filmed on Santa Cruz Island. Image: Exhibitors Herald, April 5, 1919
Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1918 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the fifth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at