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 5 of 12)
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themainlandj-p.hichtheycalledSanHilario * * * (p.80).




bay under Oape Colnett, to neither of which does Fer-
relo refer, unless he means the bay under Cape Coluett
when he says he anchored in the Ensenada which the
island forms. The coast hence runs eighteen miles true
north. There is a broad valley northward of Cape Col-
uett and then jagged mountains.

For fifteen miles southeast of Cape Colnett the kelp
field is very dense iu thirteen fathoms of water. On the
other hand, he may have anchored in the broad indenta-
tion sixteen milos north (true) from Cape Colnett, oif the
month of the San Vicente River. Five miles off the
shore sonndings arc had iu thirteen fathoms of water. A
few miles iu the interior the mountains attain an eleva-
tion of 1,500 to 2,000 feet. At eight or ten miles inland
is the old Mission of Sau Vicente.

Cabo de Sau Simon y Judas, Vizcaino's cfiart.

Cape Coluett, in latitude 30° 59'.

La Bahla de San Simon y Judas, Vizclaud (pp. 81, 84).

Colnett Bay.

Cape Colnett is a remarkable headland. Its shore out-
line is semicircular, with perpenilioular cliffs, from 150 to
350 feet-high, of a very dark-colored rock which forms the
upper horizontal layer or stratum, based on a light sand-
stone. The coast retains the same general appearance
for ten miles to the northward of the cape. The eastern
shore of the cape trends north and eastward for two and
a half miles, forming Coluett Bay, where good anchorage
may be found abreast a remarkable gorge in from six
to nine fathoms of water over a sandy bottom. Ten to
fifteen miles southward of the cape the coast sweeps
around to the southward, forming what is called on the
charts San Ramon Bay, as already mentioned. Ten miles
behind Cape Colnett the mountains rise to 1,500 and 2,000
feet elevation. Neither Cabrillo nor Ferre'.o refers to this
notable headland to the bay.

This is the first time that Ferrelo mentions currents
from the northward.

El Cabo de Sau Martin, 32-J°, Ferrolo.

Cape San Tomaa, or Point Santo Jomaij; laiiludo 31°
;'!3' ; correction to Fenelo,— 0° 57'

Ferrelo's description means a narrow promontory or
sharp cape formed by a spur or ridge of the mountains
projecting from the interior and ending in a liigh point.

Vizcaino makes no mention of this cape in his narra-
tive ; but he has the projecting point on his chart, and
behind it the legend "mountainous.''

"The point lies twelve miles S. 14° E. from Banda
Point. The coast-line between them is crescent-like, high
and precipitous, with deep water close inshore, and nu-
merous detached rocks. The point itself is low and
rocky, rising abruptly to a height of 395 feet, where it
unites with the coast mountains, which attain, at five or
six miles inland, an elevation of 4,520 feet. * * » Half
a mile to the southward of the.point the coast makes a
sharp turn to the eastward, forming a small bight, where
good anchorage may be found one quarter of a mile from
shore, in five to six fathoms of water, over sandy bottom
sheltered from the prevailing coast winds. A stream
running through a deep cafiada opens on the beach two
miles southeast of the anchorage; a road leads from abreast
this anchorage to the mouth of this stream, and thence to
the old Mission of Santo Tomas, situated sixteen miles


,continuod their course and were sailiug with fair weather,
on a coast running north and south, until Thursday, the
seventh day of the said month of September, when they
oast anchor in a oovo which the land forms ; and hero
ends the coast, which runs north and south and turns to
the northwest. Behind this cova theiTe is a large valley,
and the land is level on the coast, and within are high
ranges, and rough land good in appearance. All the coast
is bold with a smooth bottom, as at half a league from
land they were at anchor in ten fathoms ; hero there is
much vegetation on the water.

On the Friday following, on the eighth of the said
month, they held on with light winds, working to wind-
ward, and they found here contrary currents ;

they dropped anchor uuder a point which forms a cape,
and affords a good shelter from the west-northwest ; they
gave it the name of Cabo de San Martin; where the land
terminates on both sides; and here also terminates a
chain of high mountains that are beyond in the distance,
and end by other smaller sierras. There is a large valley
and many others ; iu appearance it is good land ; it is in
thirty-two and a half degrees, and is a clean port and
soundable; it trends with the island of Sau Augustin,
north and south.

Being at this Cabo de San Martin, they went on shore
for water, and found a small lagoou with fresh water,
where they procured water, and at this watering-place
came forty Indiana with their bows and arrows; they
could not understand each other; they came naked;
they brought roasted agaves to eat and fish ; this is an
advanced race; here, they took possession; they were at
this cape until the following, Monday. '




(P. 80.) "And ranging along the coast [nortliward
from lala de San Hilario] tliey came in sight of a large
bay, which the General ordered the tender to sound and
survey; and thoy fonnd it afforded a very good shelter
against the northwest wind, (p. SI), and there were many
Indians, and going further north about two leagues they
were overtaken by a strong gale at northwest which
obliged them to put back into the said bay ; and it being
the anniversary of the glorious' Apostles Saint Simon and
San Judas, October 28th, they gave that name. to the bay.
"Here the General ordered the Almiranta to take in wood
and water. * !• * Near the shore they found a con-
siderable number of Indians, who were alert and cour-
ageous" (p. 81). [They had a fight with the Indians,
* * * and left the bay on the first of November.]





iiiland, in a very fertile valley. A smaller stream opens
directly opposite the anchorage.'?

In 1873, wlien passing this point, we made the follow-
ing note which may explain Ferrelo's peculiar expres-
sion, "As seen from the northwest, the point of Solita-
lios shows vertical dykes" (with illustrations).

The anchorage is called ' ' Sheltered Cove " in the Coast
Survey Chart of T874.

El Cabo de la Cruz ; 33° Cabrillo.
El Cabo de Cruz ; 33° Ferrelo.
Grajero Point, in latitude 31° 45'.
Banda Point, on some charts.
Correction to Cabrillo and Ferrelo,— 1° 15'.
Las Islas de Todos Santos.

La Eusenada de Todos las Santos ; Vizcaino (p. 121).
Todos Santos Bay.

Ferrelo does not describe this great bay as a whole, but

in embarrassing details ; and on account of adverse winds

' his estimates of distances are very erroneous. He barely

mentions passing a small island, which must be Todos

Santos Island.

Grajero Point is a very bold, narrow head, projeotiiig
five miles into tho-sea to the west-northwestward, and in-
creases in width from a quarter of a mile to two miles.
Near the extreme point the height is 1,273 feet; and in
three and a half miles from the coast-line, between this
cape and Point Santo Tomas the mountains rise to 3,563
feet. The sides of the cape are i)recipitous and slope
both ways (N. NE. and S. SW.).

The Todos Santos Islands are on the prolongation of
the cape and distant three miles therefrom. Their com-
biued length is two miles, and the width half a mile.
The southeast islet rises 374 feet, and the northwest islet
about (JO feet. They lie about the middle of the entrance
to the bay, which is nine miles broad by as many deep.
In the southeast part of the bay there is a broad sand
beach behind which lies a lagoon receiving the waters of
two small streams. Vizcaino indicates this low shore by
a discontinued line. In the northeast part of the bay is
the Ensenada anchorage, and under the northwest cape,
called San Miguel, is the anchorage abreast the Arroyo
Carmen. Very high mountains surround the bay. A fa-
vorable wind induced Vizcaino to postpone the survey of
the bay until bis return voyage, when he ivas unable to
' carry out his plan .

El Puerto de San Mateo, 33J°, Ferrelo.
This "port" may be the present Ensenada anchorage
in the northeast part of Todos Santos Bay, where his
description suits very well ; he very probably passed out-
side the Todos Santos Islets to get there. It is well shel-
tered from all winds but the southwest, and he would
have to get water by digging or from water-pools filled
by the early rains. It is only nine miles in a direct line
from his Cabo de Cruz. It is in latitude 31° 51', and the
correction to Ferrelo's latitude would be,— 1° 29'. If
he passed outside the islets it is a possibility that he was
under Cape San Miguel or Sansal Point, which forms the
northwestern limit of Todos Santos Bay, and lies six and
a half miles from the Ensenada anchorage. The cliffs
are bold and high, and he could have gotten water from
the Arroyo Carmen, but he would have been exposed to
the heavy swell from seaward.

Monday, on the eleventh of said month, they departed
from Cabo de SanMartin and sailed about four leagues on
a coast running from north-northeast to south -southwest,
(6) and thence the coast turns to the northwest. The
land is lofty and bare ; and the day following they sailed
also with adverse winds about four leagues on a coast
running from northwest to southeast. On the land there
are high and broken sierras ; and the following Thurs-
day thly dropped anchor at about three leagues in ad-
vance at a point which projects sharply into the sea ;
they called it Cabo de Cruz ; i-t is in thirty-three degrees ;
there is no water nor wood, nor did they find any signs
of Indians. •

Having- departed from Cabo de Cruz, they found them-
selves the following Saturday two leagues from Cabo de
Cruz on account of the head winds on a coast from north-
north-west to south-southeast, and under the shore they
saw Indians in some very small canoes. The land is very
high and bare and dry. All the land from the extremity
of California to this place is sandy like the sea-beach.
- Here bfegins land of another character, as it is a coun-
try of beautiful vegetation and better appearance, like

Sunday, the seventeenth of the said month, they sot sail
to pursue their voyage, and about six leagues from Cabo
do Cruz they found a good port well enclosed, and to ar-
rive there they passed by a small island which is near
the mainland. In this port they obtained water, and
there are groves resembling silk cotton trees [ceybas], ex-
cept that it is hard wood. They found thick and tall
trees which the sea throws ashore. This port was called
San Mateo. It is a good conntry in appearance. There
are large cabins, and the herbage like that of Spain, and
the land is high and rugged. They saw herds of animals
like flocks cf sheep, which went togetherby the hundred
or more, which resembled in appearance and movement
Peruvian sheep, and with long wool. They have small
horns of a span in length as thick as the thumb, and the
tail is broad and round and of the length of a palm. It
18 in thirty-threo and one-third degrees. They took pos-



Oil the foiirteeutli of September they oatuo to anchor
at a cape, which they called do la Cruz ; laud precipi-
tous, high, and harren, which is in thirty anil three de-

"The squadron having left the bay of St. Simon and St.
Jude (p. 84), and continuing their voyage against the
wind, and against the currents, they came very near to a
great bay nearly surrounded by lofty mountains; and by
( ho breaking of the sea near the harbor, it appeared that
i t was an arm of the sea or the mouth of a river. In th^
west part of the bay, about two leagues distant, there
are two islands which they call Todos Santos The ten-
der being ordered in, the Almiranta followed her; but
the Capitana,as night was coming on,8(oodoff to sea;
and the others, that they might not be separated from
her, also put baoli. This happened on the 5th of Novem-
ber, and the next morning it was agree d to stand again
into the bay and take a plainer view of it, but a favora-
ble breeze springing up and theGeneral thinking itmost .
advisable to take advantage of it, and refer the survey
to their return, they continued their course."

[About the end of January, 1603, Vizcaino was return-
ing to La Paz for succor (p. 121) ; ma ny of his crew be-
ing dead from scurvy and only three or four remaining
fit to navigate his ship. The winds were light and he
made but slow progress, but he carried the ships to the
springs or wells which he had j)reviouBly found in the
deepest part of the Ensenada de Todos los Santos.

Under these circumstances liis description is very




Neithei- the Coast Pilot nor the chart uotes any anchor-
age, although it is reported that schooners have recently
anchored here.

Cape San Miguel lies nine miles true north from the
Southern Cape of Todos Santos Bay, and is in latitude
31° 33^'. This would give a correction to Ferrelo of
— 1° 30'. He was in the region of the antelope, which
were still running in largo herds around San Diego Bay
in 1851.

There is a remarkable valley opening on the coast in
32° 06'. It exhibits several marked terraces reaching
back and up to a great height above the sea.

Cabrillo must have been near Descanso Bay in latitude
32° 16', hut the distance is only twelve leagues.


session of it. They were in this port until the following

Saturday, the twenty-third of the said month, Jthey
departed from the said port of San Mateo and sailed
along the coast until the following Monday, in which
time they niado about eighteen leagues. They saw very
beautiful valleys and groves,. and a -country flat and
rough, and they did not see Indians.

Las Islas Desiertas, 34°, Ferrelo.

Las Islas de los Coronados, Vizcaino (page 85).

Las Islas de San Martin, chart of Vizcaino.

Los Coronados Islands, in latitude 32° 85'. Correction
to Ferrelo's latitude,— 1° 35'.

This is a group of four or five rocky and desolate islets.
There are two main islets and three smaller masses of
rooks. The largest islet is about seven miles from the
coast-line, and the others stretch to. the northwest for
four or five miles. The largest is two miles long by half
a mile wide ; it is wedge-shaped, and at its highest peak
attains an elevation of 674 feet. On the west and north-
west sides lie two barren rocks tifty feet high. The north-
western islet is a barren rook seven-tenths of a mile in
extent and 350 feet high. A fair anchorage may be had
in eight fathoms of water over sandy bottom,-on the east
side of the islet, northward of its middle.

Kohl says: "There is little doubt that the 'Dolores'
mentioned by Taraval were the Coronados Islands"!
We have already shown that Taraval lauded onNatividad
and Cerros Islands.

La Mesa de la Ceua, Vizcaino's chart.

La Mesa Eedonda of the native Californians.

Table Mountain, in latitude 32° 20' 05", longitude llii
54' 17".

This is a notable mountain, especially as a landfall to
the navigator; and Vancouver gives a characteristic
view of it. It lies about seven milt s inside the shore of
Descanso Bay. As seen from every side it is flat topped
and the top nearly circular. The surface of this table is
covered with singular fragments of rock. The diameter
of the flat top is 1,60 yards, and its height above the sea
is 2,244 feet ; so that it is visible at fifty miles from sea-
ward. A few miles to the southeast of this mountain
there is another marked mountain of three sharp peaks
rising 400 to 500 feet higher than Table Mountain. It
seems curious that Cabrillo did not mention these mount-


El Puerto de San Miguel, 34J°, Ferrelo.

El Puerto de San Diego, Vizcaino.

El Puerto Bueno de San Diego, Vizcaino's chart.

San Diego Bay. The light-honse near the extremity
of Point Loma is in latitude 32° 40'. Correction to Fer
relo,— 1°40'.

El Biien Puerto, \izcaiuo.

False Bay.

On the Tuesday and Wednesday following they sailed
along the coast abont eight leagues and passed by some
three uninhabited islands. One of them is larger than
the others, and extends two entire leagues, and forms a
shelter from the west winds. They are three leagues from
the mainland ; they are in thirty-four degrees. This day
they saw on the land great signal smokes. It is a good
land in appearance, and there are great valleys, and in
the interior there are high sierras. They called them
Las Islas Desiertas.

The Thursday following they proceeded about six
leagues along a coast running uorth-northwest and dis-
covered a port enclosed and very good, to which they
gave the name of San Miguel. It is in thirty-four and
one-third degrees; and after anchoring in it they, went
on shore, which had people, three of whom remained and
all the others fled. To these they gave some prosents:
and they said h^ signs that in the interior had passed



"After sailing a few leagues, the wind again shifted to
the northwest, but they kept coasting along the shore,
and were amused by the smokes and fires made by the
Indians all along the Strand as an invitation to the ships
to send their people ashore. The country appeared very
beautiful, and level, and pleasant. At the distance of
six leagues from the mainland, they fell in with four isl-
ands, to which they gave the name of Los Coronados (p.
84) ; the two smaller appear like sugar-loaves, the other
two somewhat larger."

[On his chart he names them Las Islas de San Martm,
and has a anchorage on the north side of the largest.]

LVizcaino's chart places the "Mesa de la Cena" near
the coast-line to the southward of the Coronados. It
furnishes the only attempt at hachuring on Bumey's copy
of his chart and therefore must have impressed the cos-

" To the north of these islands [Los Coronados] (p. 85),
on the mainland is a famous harbor which was named
the Puerto de San Diego, which the squadron entered at
seven in the evening of San Martin on the tenth of No-
vember. The day following the General ordered several
persons to survey a hill (monte) [La Loma] which ai-
forded protection to this port from northwest winds. * **
On this hill they found tall and straight oaks, and other

H. Ex. 40 25




La lala do Arena.

The Peninsula. "The Island" is the low sandy,
chaparral-coveredpenin8ula,formingtbe west shoreof the
bay and crowding so close to Ballast Point under Panta
de la Loma as tj form the deep narrow channel between
the bay and the sea. It is not over six feet above the
level of the sea, and in 1850 was locally known as " The
Island," and now known as the " Peninsula."

Next \f> that of San Francisco, no harbor on the Pacific
coast of the United States approaches in excellence the
Bay of San Diego. It is readily distinguished by the
notable landmark of Point Loma, in latitude 32° 39', is
easily approached on account of the absence of outlying
dangers, and a depth of twenty-two feet of water can be
carried over the bar. This bar has not changed in depth
or position since the time of Vancouver.

Vessels approaching San Diego Bay make the ridge of
Point Loma as a long flat-topped island, when about
twenty-five miles distant. This appearance is occasioned
by the bay to the southwest, by the low land to the north-
east, and by the Puerto Falso at the north.

The bay 5s a long curving body of water about twelve
miles in length, and from one-half to ten miles in width.
For the first six or seven miles from the cntrauoe there is
a fine broad channel, carrying four to eight fathoms of
water. The southern end of the bay is occupied by very
extensive flats, through, which a channel with twenty
to twelve feet of water is found. Between the bay, and
the ocean there is a narrow strip of sand dunes and very
low ground.

When insijle the entrance of the bay, a vessel is shel-
tered from every wind, and the holding ground is good.

When we first visited the bay, in 1851, there was no
sign of 'the trees mentioned by Vizcaino, nor did the
Spanish population have any traditions about the u. His
description of "elmonte" applies with great directness
to La Loma.

Kohl blunders very badly about Taraval's " Bahia de
San Xavier," and says that "probably it is the small bay
now known as San Diego Harbor." Wo have shownthat
it was the great gulf of Sebastian Vizcaino lying east-
ward of Cerros Island.


people like the Spaniards. They manifested much fear.
This same day at night they went on shore from the ships
to fish with a net, and it appears that there wero here
some Indians, and they began to discharge arrows and
wounded three men.

The next day, in tho morning, they entered farther
within the harbor, which is large, with the "boat, and
thsy brought away two boys, who understood nothing by
signs, and they gave them both shirts, and immediately
sent them away.

And tho following day, in the mdrning, there came to
the ship three full-grown Indians, and bysigns they said
that there wore travelling in the interior men like us, with
beards, and clothed and armed like thoie of the ships, and
they made signs that thoy carrictf cross-bow and swords,
and made gestures with the right arm, as if they were
throwing lances, and went runn ing in a posture as if rid-
ing on horseback, and made signs that they killed many
of the native Indians, and that for this they were afraid. •
This people are well-disposed and advanced; they go
covered with the skins of animals. Being in this port,
there passed a very great tempest, but on account of the
harbor being good, they suffered nothing. It was a vio-
lent storm from the west-southwest and south-southwest.
This is the first storm which they have experienced.
They were in this port until the following Tuesday. Here
Christians were called Guacamal.

Ensenada (.de Santa Caihaliua), Vizcaino.

Sau Pedro Bay, latitude 33° 43'.

To Vizcaino this great bight embraced the low country
north and east of San Pedro Bay, which land ho did not
see. On his chart he places Santa Catalina Island broad
oft' the Bay of San Pedro.

Kohl thinks that San Pedro Bay is tho Baia de Fumos
o.f Cabrillo, but we will show that it ia Santa Monica. Bay.

The following Tuesday, on the third day of the month
ef October, they departed from this port of San Miguel,
and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday they pro-
ceeded on their course, about eighteen leagues along the
coast, on which they saw many valleys and much level
ground, and many largo smokes, and, in the interior,

La Isla de San Salvador, Ferrelo.

La Isla do Santa Cathalina, Vizcaino.

Santa Catalina Island, in latitude 33°2Ci', at Isthmus

The island is eighteen miles from the mainland at San
Pedro and twenty-three and a half miles from Point

La Isla do la Vittoria, Ferrelo.

San Clemente Island ; the latitude of the southeast
head is 32° 49'.

These islands were named after the sbips; tho former

They wero at dusk near some islands, which are about
seven leagues from the mainland, and because tho wind
had died out they could not reach them this night.

Saturday, the seventh day of tho month of October, they
arrived at the islands at daybreak, which they named
San Salvador and La Vittoria, and they anchored off oiio
of them, and they went with the boat on shore to see if
people were there, and as the boat approached, a great
number of Indians issued from among tho bushes and
grass, yelling and dancing and making signs that they
should come ashore ; and they saw that the women wen'



trees; some shrubs resembling rosemary, and a great
variety of fragrant and wboresome plants. The top of
this hill commanded a view of the whole harbor which
appeared very great and very commodious, and well
sheltered from every wind (p. 86). The hill borders this
harbor on the northwest and is about three leagues
in length, and a half a league in breadth. And to the
northwest ofthis hill is another good harbor. ' • * The_y
obtained there water from a sandy beach or a little island

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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 5 of 12)