U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Methods and results : voyages of discovery and exploration on the northwest coast of America from 1539 to 1603 : Appendix No. 7--Report for 1886 online

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Online LibraryU.S. Coast and Geodetic SurveyMethods and results : voyages of discovery and exploration on the northwest coast of America from 1539 to 1603 : Appendix No. 7--Report for 1886 → online text (page 2 of 12)
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but being impeded by contrary winds, he had advanced
on the tenth of November not more than fifty-four leagues
from the bay of Santa Cruz towards the south and south-


[From Wednesday to the following Thursday they held
their course along the coast of New Spain thirty-five
leagues. ]

"Sunday, on the second day of July, they had, sight of
California : they were delayed in crossing over [the Gulf
of California] by the weather, which was not very favor-
able, almost four days ; they anchored the following Mon-
day, on the third of the same month, off the Point of Cali-
tbrnia, and were here two days."

H. Ex. 40-




El Puerto de San Lucas, " They say it is iu latitude
23°," Ferrelo :
La Baiiia de San Bernabfe, Vizcaino :
San Lucas Bay; latitude 2-Z° 52'.

Correction toFerrelo, — 0° 08'. Either Ferrelo obtained
the latitude at second authoritj-, or his instrument was
badly deranged thereafter, as well as at Santa Cruz ; I
thint the former.

It was in this harbor of San Lucas that the English
navigator Cavendish, in 1587, captured, plundered, and
burnt the Spanish galleon Santa Ana from the Philippines.
This name suggests this bay as that where the Mexican
asti'onomers observed the Transit of Venus in 1769, when
the French expedition under Auteroche de la Chappe oc-
cupied a station at Sau Joso del Cabo, a few miles east-
wardly, which I recovered in 1873.

San Lucas Bay a;ffords good anchorage and shelter from
the northwest and southwest winds, but it is open to the
sea from the south to the east, rendering it exceedingly
unsafe during the summer and autumn, or wet season,
when the gales are very frec^n-eut and violent. The best
anchorage is in six or seven fathoms of water, a quarter
of a mile from the beach. Wood and water are obtained

Vizcaino gives a full description of the natives, the
fresh-water lake, the fishes, and the productions of the


they reached the Puerto do San~ Lucas the following
Thurada,y, and took in water; they saw these days no
Indians: they say Cdizen] that this port is in twenty-
three degrees^ and from the point to the port it is clear
and soundable, and the land is bare and rugged.

La Punta de la Trinidad-. Cabrillo; Ferrelo iu 25°.
This is undoubtedly

Cape Tosco, in latitude 24° 17'. Correction to Cabrillo
and Ferrelo,— 0° 43'.

From Cape San Lucas to Cape Tosco, a distance of 130
miles, or 43 leagues, there iu no prominent point or inden-
tation of the coast line, except immediately under the
latter cape. The shore is marked by long lines of dreary
sand dunes, except near Cape Falso and half way hence
to Cape Tosco, where there is a "low, rocky point called
the Point del Marques. A reef of rocks extends a short
distance out from it, and on either side near the coast
are low sandy bluffs."

" Vessels-may anchor anywhere along this part of the
coast in fine weather iu from 8 to 10 fathoms, a mile or
two from the beach. The soundings are regular, and
there are no hidden dangers. The beach is generally
steep, and the breakers close to it."

Immediately behind this point the land rises to "Las
Mesas," or table-lands, of GOO feet elevation. ,To the
southeastward stretches a great chain of mountains,
reaching Cape San Lucas, and ranging from 4,000 to 6,200
feet elevation; and visible at a distance of ninety-one

The point is laid down on the U. S. Coast Survey chart
iu latitude 23° 56' north, and the indications are against
any anchorage when the northwest winds are blowincf-
although Ulloa anchored eight or ten leagues to the south-
east of Puerto Trinidad. Vizcaino met with strong cur-
rents from the northwest along this stretch of coast.

There must be some omission in Ferrelo's narrative
wherein he gives the distance of five leagues from Cape
San Lucas to Cape Tosco. .The actual distance is 43
leagues along the coast. His estimates are so va<Tuo that

They departed from the Puerto de Sau Lucas Thurs-
day, the 6th, in the night, and the following Saturday,
on the eighth of the said month, they cast anchor under
the Punta de la Trinidad, which is in twenty-five de-
grees; it is from San Lucas five leagues;' it is a clean
coast without any irregularity; within, on the land,
appear high and bare and rugged ridges ; they were at
anchor here on account of contrary winds from west-
northwest until the following Wednesday.






" Tbe country near the southern cape of California was
beautiful, and appeared to he -well inhabited. The shore
was hold, the least depth, as they sailed, being fifty-four

The coast [borderingthoPaciiio Ocean] wassoonfound
to take a northern direction, and their progress was op-
posed by a long continuance of northwest winds. The
two ships were separated and rejoined twice within the
first month after quitting Santa Cruz.''

On the eighth day of the same month, they found them-
selves in twenty and five degrees, which is la Punta de
la Trinidad.

"The squadron of Vizcaino entering this bay uuderCabo
do San Lucas, on the feast of San Barnabas [June 11th], it
was called after the name of that Saint. * * * In this
bay the squadron lay some days to wait for the change
of the moon, repair the ships, and take in wood and
water. * * * (P. 38.) Three times the squadron
sailed out of the bay, and were as often through the vio-
lence of the wind and the roughness of the sea, obliged
to put back. They again set sail on the 5th of July>
which was the fourth time (p. 46)." *


[On the first of December, they anchored near the coast,
and boaits went to procure water; in doing which, they
were attacked by the natives. Captain Ulloa and some
others were wounded, not dangerously,] " and Berecillo,
their best mastiff dog, (they had two others) was wounded
with three arrows, and would no more return to the

[Near this watering place they found .a hay or port,
with three fathoms depth at the entrance, and deeper
water within. No latitude is mentioned.]


"And coming near the shore on the 8th of the mouth,,
facing some highlands, they were becalmed, that in a.
week they did not gain a single league ; and on this ac~
count they gave that high land the name Sierra del
Enfado, or Mount Tiresome (p. 47)."

[On his chart Vizcaino simply says "This coast is free-
ijom dangers" half way to Cape Tosco, and hence to.
Tosco "low beaches." The chart has a weak point neat-
the present Point del Marquis.]




no supposition can fairly be matle as to wliat he intended
to say.

La Puuta de la Trinidad, 25°, C'aljrillo.

El Puerto de la Trinidad, 25°, Ferrelo.

La Bahia de San Abad, Ulloa.

La Bahla enganosa de Santa Marina, Vizcaino (p. 51).

El Puerto del Marqufes, 6 de Santiago of Vizcaino
(p. 52).

La Bahia de Santa Marina, Vizcaino's chart.
' Salita Marina Bay, in latitude 24° 20'.

Santa Margarita Island. It is twenty-two miles long,
about five miles broad at the broadest place, and rises in
barren peaks to 1,900 feet elevation.

El Puerto de San Pedro, 25i°, Ferrelo.

El Puerto de la Magdalena, Vizcaino (p. 49).

La Bahia 6 Puerto de la Magdalena, Vizcaino, pages
50, 52, and chart.

Magdalena Bay is in latitude 24° ,32' ; correction to
Ferrelo —0° 58'.

This large and spacious bay with a fine entrance three
miles wide, with very deep water and high headlands, is
well protected by great mountain barriers from the Pa-
cific Ocean winds.

The magnificent sheet of water is thirty-five miles long
by twelve miles broad, but is divided by a narrow throat
into Magdalena Bay proper on the north, and Almega
Bay on the south ; the latter again opening southward
into Santa Marina Bay. The depth of water in the two
main bays is over ten fathoms. From the northern part
of Magdalena Bay there is connection with a long line of
lagoona running for sixty miles northward, and lying just
inside the coast sand dunes. These lagoons have several
openings to the sea, through the dunes, and were formerly
the resort of innumerable whales.


Wednesday, on th6 twelfth day of said month, they
departed from this- place. In Puerto de la Trinidad, an
island forms the port which is here, and it is a. good port,
sheltered from the. west-northwest winds ; the port of
the island is at the head of the island on the southeast
side, and the port is clear and soundable ; it has neither
wood nor water; the island has ten leagues of length
and two leagues of breadtli ; they anchored that night."

They departed the Thursday following, aod passed the
Puerto de San Pedro, which is in twenty-five and a half
degrees; in this port there is no water nor wood; its
direction is southeast ; it has a good shelter from the
west winds ;

El Morro Eedondo, Vizcaino's chart.

Cape Eedondo, in latitude 24° 32'.

The northern point of the entrance to Magdalena Bay
is Entrada Point.

La Bahia de San Martin, Ferrelo.

La Bahia de Santa Marta, Vizcaino's chart.

Santa Maria Bay, latitude 24° 44'.

This bay is four leagues northwestward from the en-
trance to Magdalena Bay, and lies broad open to the
southwestward. It is eight miles between the northwest
and southeast points of the entrance, and it is four and
a half miles deep towards the northeast. The soundings
decrease regularly from twenty fathoms to three fathoms
at the sandy beach, which is backed by sand dunes.
There are no dangers except a line of rooks extendino
half a mile from Cape Lazaro, which forms the northwest
point. Inside the bay, on the east side of Cape Lazaro,
there is good anchorage in six fathoms of water over sandy
bottom. The southeast point of entrance to the bav is
Cape Corso. When Cabrillo had reached El Puerto de la
Magdalena or Peqnena, in latitude 27° by his reckoning,
ho says "This puerto is forty leagues from the bay of
San Martin;" this would put it approximately in his
latitude of 25° ; but he makes no mention of such a port
in his narrative when he was sailing past that part of the
coast; although he had just lefr. Santa Marina Bay and



"Eight or ten leagues farther to the Northwest, they
came to some inlets like passages between islands, into one
of -which they sailed, and found a good harbor entirely en-
closed with land, which they named Bahia de San Abad.
The latitude is not given. In this port they took a sup-
ply of -water, and at this part of the coast they had
intercourse wit^ the natives, who exchanged pearl shells
and feathers for beads and other trinkets ; but this
traffic was conducted with much caution and distrust,
and their separation was not friendly."

"(P. 49.) Vizcaino's flagship entered the oay outhe20tn
of July, 1602,buther consort did not on account of the fogs.
The next day some soldiers ascended the m'ountain and
saw her consort sailing northward. The Capitana being
thus alone on Santa Magdalena's day, the father Commis-
sary and Father Tomas said mass ashore ; and on account
of this festival the bay was named La Bahia, or Puerto
de Magdalena ; it is very spacious, with several safe
coves and anchoring places; has two entrances, and
through it a wide arm of the sea runs up into the coun-
try. * * * (P. 50.) The frigate subsequently entered
the bay, joined the Capitana, and both left in company
(p. 51)"."

[Vizcaino's chart gives his anchorage iu the Bay, the
soundings, and the eastern passage to Santa Marina Bay.
He designates it as La Bahia de la Magdalena ; and the
southern point of the entrance is named Morro Eedondo. ]

[About five miles beyond Magdalena Bay ho dis-
covered the entrance to -what appeared a very dangerous
bay, but it had been errfered by the Almiranta and is
named on the chart La Bahia de Sta. Marta.]




looked into the present Magdaleua Bay. . As there is uo
other port immediately north of Magdalena Bay, it is
reasonable to assume that La Bahia de Sau Martin anxl
Santa Maria Bay are the same ports.


La Pnnta de Sau Lazaro, Vizcaino's chart.

Cape San Lazaro, in latitude 24° 48'. _

From Cape San Lazaro the coast line takes a decided
change of direction from west-northwest to north (mag-
netic), and also changes from the high mountainous range
from Cape Tosco to Cape San Lazaro, to one that is low,
sandy, and only broken by the entrance to great lagoons
that stretch sixty miles northward from Magdalena Bay.

It is very probable that the receding of this low shore
■caused Ferrelo to designate it the head of a large ense-
:nada or gulf; or else that he saw the great lagoons from
ithe mast-head ; in either case they would head in about
latitude 24° 50' or 25° 00'.

they continued sailing along the coast, which forms a
large gulf, the head of which is in 'twenty-six degrees ;
the land is low and covered with sand dunes, the coast
white and clear ; they proceeded, sailing along the coast
with fair winds

La Bahia de San Christoval, Vizcaino. In this ense-
nada is the entrance to the Boca de San Domingo, in lati-
tude 25° 21'. It is three-quarters of a mile wide, with a
shoal exten ding a mile oif the entrance. There is a depth
of seven and a half feet of water upon it at high tide.
The southern end of the lagoon heads in Magdalena Bay,
and also stretches northward thirty miles. A very low
country lies to the eastwUrd of it.

El Puerto de la Magdalena, 27°, Cabrillo and Ferrelo.

Pequeiia Bay, in latitude 26° 14'. Correction to Cab-
rillo and Ferrelo, — 0° 46'. The distance from Santa Maria
Bay is only thirty leagues.

This is a bay formed by an indentation of the coast,
one and a half miles to the northward. The rocky point
on the west is composed ot volcanic bluifs thirty feet
high, with a hill eighty-five feet high. The country is
low, with sand dunes and lagoons farther in shore.

Vessels find shelter from the northwesters by anchor-
ing in six fathoms of water one mile northeastward from
the point. There is a large estero behind the point, but
in some seasons it has no opening to the sea.

.Vizcaino has a line of soundings along the shore from
Cape Lazaro nearly to Point Abreojos, ranging from
thirty to fifteen fathoms of water. And he has two in-
dentations corresponding very nearly in i)ositiou to Pe-
quefia Bay and the open roadstead under Point San Do-
mingo. His chart says this is a "broken, ragged coast,"
and inland " moantainous." Both statements are true.
The charts of 1874 named the point forming Pequeua
Bay, San Domingo; but on the latest charts it has no
name, and San Domingo is transferred to the point thir-
teen miles to the west-northwest.

as far as twenty-seven degrees, and Wednesday, on
the nineteenth of the said month, they landed at a
port which they discovered, and going on shore they
found a path used by Indians, and followed it the
distance of an arquebuse shot, wh6re they found a
spring of water; the land is level withiu and bare and
very dry ; they gave it the name of Puerto de la Mada-
ena ; 'it is forty leagues from the Bay of San Martin to
this port.

La Punta de Santa Catalina, Ferrelo.

San Domingo Point, of the latest charts ; it is in lati-
tude 26° 19', and thirteen miles west-northwest from Pe-
quena Bay.

ThefollowlngThursday, on the twentieth of this month,
they departed from this port and proceeded, sailing
along the coast with contrary winds, and about six
leagues from that place they found an anchorage behind



Wednesday, on the nineteenth, they discovered' a port
which is of good protection, which they called La Mag-
dalena, in twenty-seven degrees, and here they took in

[On Vizcaino's chart he names the head which forms
the northwest point of Santa Maria Bay, La Pnnta de
San Lazaro.]

"The whole coast beyond this cape is level and pleas-
ant ; and has only a few mountains in the inland coun-

" On the 30th of July, they had sight of a bay, which
seemed to be formed there by the issue of a river. * * *
(P. 52. ) There were breakers at the entrance. * * *
This place or gnlf had been surveyed by the Almiranta.
It was named the Bahia de San Christoval, * * * be-
cause it was surveyed on the anniversary of that saiut.'
(P. 53.)

[The chart designates it as a "low coast."]




Sau Domingo Point is a remarkable perpendicular
rocky cHfif of dark color, rising; one hundred and seventy-
five feet above tbe sea. The cliffs extend for several
miles east and west of the Point. A short reef stretches
out from the Point in a southwesterly direction. Anchor-
age may be had to the eastward of the Point, under its
lee, in five or six fathoms of water, half a mile from the
shore, where a vessel will find some protection from the
prevailing wind.

To the northwestward of this Point a long line of la-
goons lies just inside the sand dunes. Behind the lagoons
the land is low and sandy and then rises gently to low
table-lands. The mountains are from twenty to thirty
miles inland.

El Puerto de Santiago, 27^°, Ferrelo.

La BaMa de las Ballenas, Vizcaino.

Balleuas Bay, latitude 26° 45'.

San Iguacio Lagoon, under Abredjos Point, in latitude
26° 42'; correction to Ferrelo, — 0° 45'. It is 76 miles from
Pequena Bay, and 54 miles from San Domingo Point.

The whole bight east and southeast of Abre<5jos Point,
for fifty miles, is bordered by low sandy shores, behind
which stretch immense lagoons, which were the former
haunts of thehumpbackwhale. The San Ignacio Lagoon,
seventeen miles east-northeast from Abre6jos Point, pene-
trates twenty miles northward and has a channel that
admitted whaling vessels (1854). Between this lagoon
and AbreCijos Point there is another large lagoon not
named. From Ignacio Bay to San Domingo Point there
is the long line of narrow lagoons already mentioned.
The early navigators may very readily have imagined an
extensive and deep bay lying well to the eastward of Point
Abredjos, and stretching eastward and northward from
and forming part of the Puerto Santiago. The highlands
for thirty or forty miles retreat inland behind the San
Ignacio Lagoon or Puerto.

The open bay just inside Abreojos Point is named
Ballenas Bay ; it is sixteen miles broad, east and west, and
seven miles deep, north and south. The depth of water
in it ranges from twenty fathoms to three fathoms close
under the beach. The Point affords good protection from
the prevailing winds of summer. An anchorage is had
in six to seven fathoms of water over sandy bottom.
With strong winds a large swell rolls in, causing a heavy
surf on the beach.

The Point itself is low and sandy, with a long narrow
lagoon stretching to the west-northwest. There is a
barren hill 277 feet high three miles inside the Point.
On its southeast side there is a pond with brackish water
in it during the dry season. A ridge running north-
northwest from the Point rises to. mountains in twenty

La Punta de Santiago, Ferrelo.

Abre6jos Point.

Habre Ojo (Rocks), "Keep your eye open", 27^° and
and "more," Ferrelo.

The Abredjos Rocks, latitude 26° 46'.

Correction to Ferrelo, — 0° 44' " and more.

Whale Rock.

These dangers lie three miles west-southwest from
Abre6jos Point, and are about two miles in extent. One
of them. Whale Rock, is four feet above water ; the rest


a point, which they called Punta de Santa Catalina, and
so they continued sailing along the coast.

and the Tuesday following, on the twenty-fifth of the said
month of July, they discovered a large bay in twenty-
seven and a half degrees; they made very little progress
these days on account of the bad weather ; they dropped
anchor in this port and gave it the name of Puerto de
Santiago; it is distant from Puerto de Madalena twenty-
three leagues;

there are from Punta de Santiago for five leagues some
very dangerous, shoals and rooks, and they do not appear
except when the sea breaks upon them ; they are one
league from the land, and in a little over twenty- seven
and a half degrees ; they are called Habro Ojo.



"And the same night [July 30th] (p. 53), they continued
their voyage until they came to the Bahia de las Bal-
lenas; -when approaching it, '.'at a considerable distance
they saw a large bay, ' » » (p. 54), but on approach-
ing, it -was found to be as it were intercepted bfshoalB.
* * This bay [Ensenada] had been surveyed by the
Almiranta, who gave it the name of Bahia de Ballenas on
account of the multitudes of that large fish they saw
there." They could not land for two days. The country
is quite populous and the Indians peaceable.

[Vizcaino's chart exhibits this great bight east of Ab-
refijos Point, with a long barrier of sand through it as if
guarding the lagoons behind it. In front of this barrier
is the legend "Arrecifes."]

[Vizcaino's chart has the sunken rocks off the point
named "Abreojos;" and he evidently anchored under the
point as his anchor denotes.]

H. Ex. 40 22




are sunken. The distance around them and the danger
just oif the point is eight or nine miles.

La Bahi.a de San Hipolito, Vizcaino's chart.

San Hipolito Bay, latitude 36° 58'.

This open bay is formed by the indentation of tie coast
-line east of Point San Hipolito. The eastern shore runs
north for three miles and then sweeps to the eastward
and southeastward for ten miles. Good anchorage may
he had under the lee of the Point in iive to seven fathoms
of water over a sandy bottom, at half a mile from the
low shore.

San Hipolito Point is quite low, and composed of black
root with barren sand hills fifty to one hundred feet high,
rising a short distance from it. There is. a sandy shoal
extending Qver a mile from the Point.

A remarkable table-shaped mountain, of 1,227 feet ele-
vation, lies five and a half miles north (magnetic) from
the Point. Behind this rise higher mountains, three
thousand' feet in elevation.

Sierra de los Siete lufautea, Vizoaluo.

These seven peaks are in the mountain range, lying
between Abre6jos Point and San Eoque Island, and about
fifteen miles inland. They are not recognized ou any of
the charts to date. The range reaches au elevation of
3,400 feet.


Punta y Pnerto de Santa Ana, 28°, Ferrelo.

Asuncion Point, latitude 27° 07' , Correction to Fer-
relo,— 0° 53'.

It is forty-seven miles in a straight line from Abre6jos

It is a low, sharp, bluif Point, with a cone-shaped hil-
lock about seventy-five feet high at its outer extremity,
and moderately hig^i hills a short distance inland.

Asuncion Island.

Sau Roque Island.

These are the islands discovered by Ulloa, but not then
named; nor were they named by Cabrillo.

Laslslas de San Eoque, Vizcaino iu the Almirauta.

La Isla de la AssumpoioO, by the Capitaua; this is the
first or southern islet.

La" Isla de San Eoque, Vizcaino.

They are both named ou his chart, with an anchorage
under each.

Asuncion Island lies a little more than three-quarters
of a mile to the south-south east of Asuncion Point, and
■ is placed in latitude 27° 06'. It is three-quarters of a
mile long, and less than a quarter of a mile wide ; of sand-
stone formation, and entirely barren ; towards its south-
ern end some hills reach an altitude of one hundred feet.

The Island of San Eoque is a rugged rock, one mile
long east and west, less than half a mile wide at its
broadest part, and about forty feet above the sea. It
lies in the Middle of Sau Eoque Bay, about two miles
from the shore, and has dangers off its eastern extremity.

It is iu latitude 27° 08|', and is twenty-five miles from
Point San Hipolito, and six miles from Asuncion Island.

They proceeded sailing on the same course along the
coast, as far as twenty -eight degrees, and there anchored
under shelter of a point. Here are groves of trees which
they had not seen from the Point of California; it is from
this point' to Pnerto de Santiago at the northwest point
twenty-three leagues. There are high and broken ridges
with some woodland. We gave it the Hame of Santo. Ana ;

It has an islet about a league from the land.

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Online LibraryU.S. Coast and Geodetic SurveyMethods and results : voyages of discovery and exploration on the northwest coast of America from 1539 to 1603 : Appendix No. 7--Report for 1886 → online text (page 2 of 12)