This account details the voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo & Bartolome Ferrelo along the west coast of the North American continent in 1542-3.
It is taken from Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-1706, the 17th volume of the series Original Narratives of Early American History [General Editor J. Franklin Jameson], published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York in 1916.
The account of the expedition appears from page 1 to page 39.
RELATION OF THE VOYAGE OF JUAN RODRIGUEZ CABRILLO, 1542-1543
Relation or Diary of the Voyage made by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo with two Ships, for the Discovery of the Passage from the South Sea at the North, from the twenty-seventh of June, 1542, when he left the Port of Navidad, to the fourteenth of April of the following Year, when he returned to it, having gone as far as the Latitude of Forty-four Degrees; with the Description of the Coast, Ports, Bays, and Islands which he Examined, and their Distances, on the Whole Extent of that Coast.
Juan Rodriguez set sail from the port of Navidad to explore the coast of New Spain on the 27th of June, 1542.
Between the port of Navidad and Cape Corriente, forty leagues, it took him a day and a night, with a southeast wind.
From Wednesday until the following Thursday they held their course along the coast thirty-five leagues.
Sunday, July 2, they sighted California. On account of the weather, which was not very favorable, it took them almost four days to cross over. On the following Monday, the 3d of the same month, they anchored at the Point of California. Here they remained two days, and from here they went to the port of San Lucas on the following Thursday and took on water. During these days they did not see a single Indian. They say that this port is in twenty-three degrees. From the point to the port the coast is clear and soundable; the land is bare and rough.
They left the port of San Lucas on Thursday, at night, and on the following Saturday, the 8th of the same month, they anchored under Trinidad Point, which is in twenty-five degrees. It must be about five leagues from San Lucas. The coast is clear, without any irregularity. Inland are seen high, bald, and rugged mountains. They remained at anchor here until the following Wednesday, on account of contrary winds from the west-northwest.
On Wednesday, the 12th of the said month, they left there. At the port of Trinidad a harbor is formed by an island which is there; and it is a good port, sheltered from the west-northwest winds. The port of the island is at its head, on the southeast side. It is a clear and soundable port, but it contains neither water nor wood. The island must be ten leagues long and two leagues wide. They cast anchor that night.
They set sail on the following Thursday, and passed the port of San Pedro, which is in twenty-five and one-half degrees. In this port there is neither water nor wood. Its passage is southeastward. It affords good shelter from west winds. They went sailing along the coast, which forms a large bay, the head of which is in twenty-six degrees. The land is low, with sand dunes, the coast white and clear. They went sailing along it with favorable winds up to twenty-seven degrees, and on Wednesday, the 19th, they landed at a port which they foimd. Having gone ashore, they found a road used by the Indians and followed it the distance of an arquebus shot, when they found a spring. The interior of the country is level, bare, and very dry. They named it the port of Madalena. From the Bay of San Martin to this port it must be about forty leagues.
On the following Thursday, the 20th of the same month, they left this port and sailed along the coast with contrary winds, and about six leagues from it they found anchorage behind a point which they call Santa Catalina Point. And thus they continued sailing along the coast; and on the following Tuesday, the 25th of the said month of July, they discovered a large bay in twenty-seven and one-half degrees. They made very little headway these days on account of the contrary winds. They anchored in this port and named it the port of Santiago. It must be about twenty-three leagues from the port of Madalena. Five leagues from the port of Santiago there are some very dangerous, rocky shoals, which are invisible except when the sea breaks over them. They are a league from the shore, and are in a little over twenty-seven and one-half degrees. They are called Habre Ojo. They continued sailing along the coast by the same course up to twenty-eight degrees, where they cast anchor in the shelter of a headland. Here there are groves of trees, the first which they had seen since leaving the Point of California. From this headland to the port of Santiago, at its northwestern point, it must be about twenty-three leagues. There are high, rugged mountains with some timber. We named the point Santa Ana. About a league from shore there is a small island.
On Thursday, the 27th of the same month, they left the said port of Santa Ana and went to anchor about six leagues from there in a port which they named Puerto Fondo (Deep Port), because of its great depth, for near the shore it was thirty fathoms; it is clear. Next day they left this port, but three times returned to take shelter in it from contrary winds, and remained in it until the following Monday.
On Monday, the 31st of the said month, they left the said Puerto Fondo and anchored that night about eight leagues from there; next day they continued their voyage.
Tuesday, the 1st day of August, they departed from there and went about ten leagues, when they cast anchor in a port which they named San Pedro Vincula. This port is in sight of Zedros Island. It is in a little over twenty-eight and one-half degrees. The land is high, rough, and bare. From California to this point we have not seen a single Indian.
On Wednesday, the 2d of the month, they left this port; the wind was contrary and they proceeded, beating; they went to cast anchor at an island which is southeast of Zedros Island and four leagues from it. This island, which they called San Esteban, is west of the extremity of the point of the mainland, and its coast runs from northwest to southeast. It is a league from the mainland. From this point the coast of the mainland turns east-northeast and forms a bay so large that the land is not visible. Between the island and the mainland there is a good channel, but they have to pass close to the island because there is a reef underneath which extends a fourth of a league from the point. There is much vegetation on the water which grows on the bottom and is fastened below. This island is northwest of San Pedro Vincula. It must be about three leagues in circumference. We remained at this island, with contrary winds, until the following Saturday, the 5th of the said month of August. It has a good port on the southeast side. There is good fishing with a hook, and there are many birds.
They left the island of San Estevan on Saturday, the 5th of August, and went to anchor at the island of Zedros, where they remained until Thursday, the 10th of the said month, taking on water and wood. They found no Indians, although they found signs of them. The leeward point of this island, on the south side, is in twenty-nine degrees, and it has on this south side good ports, water, and wood. On this side it is bare, for it has only some small shrubs. The island is large, high, and bare, and trends almost from east to west; on the south side it must be about twelve leagues long.
They left the island of Zedros on Thursday, the 10th of the said month of August, to continue their voyage, and followed the curve of the mainland, sailing north. They went this day about ten leagues, and on the Friday following they went to anchor at a harbor which they called the port of Santa Clara. It is a good port. They went ashore and found four Indians, who fled. This port is in thirty degrees, scant. It is northeast of the island of Zedros, and from the port toward the bay this coast runs from north-northwest to south-southeast. The coast is clear and soundable; the land is bare, and is not rough; it has plains and valleys. They remained in this port till Sunday, the 13th of the said month, on account of the foul winds.
On Sunday, the 13th of said month, they left this port and sailed along the coast with light winds, casting anchor every night; and on the following Tuesday they anchored under a point which forms a bay which is in thirty and one-half degrees. It affords little shelter. They called it Punta del Mal Abrigo (Point of Poor Shelter).
On the following Wednesday they sailed along the coast, against a strong northwest headwind, and remained in shelter that night without making any headway. The following Thursday they continued amid heavy rains, headwinds, and calms, so that they did not make land. The following night they encountered a heavy west-northwest wind and sought shelter. The following Friday they sailed with favorable winds and found themselves six leagues to the windward of the Point of Mal Abrigo. Thus they continued until the following Saturday, the 19th of the said month, when they cast anchor at a small island which is half a league from the mainland. It must be about ten leagues from the Point of Mal Abrigo. It is in thirty and one-half degrees. It has a good anchorage and good shelter. They called it San Bernardo. It must be about a league long from north to south. The coast of the mainland runs from north-northwest to south-southeast. It is a clear coast. The interior of the country looks very good and level; there are good valleys and some timber, the rest being bare. During these days they saw no sign of Indians.
On Sunday, the 20th of said month of August, they left the island of San Bernardo and approached Point Engaño, which must be about seven leagues from this island, and is in thirty-one degrees. From the point toward the island the coast runs from north-northwest to south-southeast. At Point Engaño the land is not high, and it appears to be good and level; the mountains are bare. We saw no sign of Indians. And thus they sailed along until the next Monday, following the coast to the north and northeast; and about ten leagues from Point Engafio they discovered a good port, in which they cast anchor and took on water and wood. It is in thirty-one and one-half degrees. It is a port suitable for making any kind of repairs on ships, placing them in a secure spot.
On the following Tuesday Captain Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo went ashore, took possession there in the name of his Majesty and of the most Illustrious Senor Don Antonio de Mendoza, and named it port of La Posesion (port of the Possession). He found a lake which has three large [...], and found some Indian fishermen, who forthwith fled. They captured one of them; giving him a few presents they released him and he departed. The interior of the country consists of high and rugged land, but it has good valleys and appears to be good country, although bare. They remained in this place until Sunday, the 27th of said month, repairing the sails and taking on water. On Thursday they saw some smokes and, going to them with the boat, they found some thirty Indian fishermen, who remained where they were. They brought to the ship a boy and two women, gave them clothing and presents, and let them go. From them they could understand nothing by signs.
On the Friday following, on going to get water, they found in the watering place some Indians who remained quiet and showed them a pool of water, and a saline which contained a large quantity of salt. They said by signs that they did not live there, but inland, and that there were many people. This same day, in the afternoon, five Indians came to the beach; they brought them to the ships and they appeared to be intelligent Indians. Entering the ship they pointed at and counted the Spaniards who were there, and said by signs that they had seen other men like them, who wore beards, and who brought dogs, and crossbows, and swords. The Indians came smeared over with a white paste on the thighs, body, and arms, and wore the paste like slashes, so that they appeared like men in hose and slashed doublets. They made signs that Spaniards were five days from there. They made signs that there were many Indians, and that they had much maize and many parrots. They came covered with deerskins; some wore the deerskins dressed in the way the Mexicans dress the skins which they use for their cutaras. They are a large and well-featured people. They carry their bows and arrows like those of New Spain, the arrows being tipped with flints. The captain gave them a letter to carry to the Spaniards who they said were in the interior.
They left the port of La Posesion on Sunday, the 27th of the said month of August, and, continuing their course, they discovered an island two leagues from the mainland. It is uninhabited; there is a good port in it; they named it San Agustin; it must be about two leagues in circumference. They continued thus along the coast with light winds, holding to windward, until the following Wednesday, the 30th of the said month, when they encountered a heavy northwest wind which forced them to seek shelter at the island of San Agustin. On this island they found signs of people, and two cows' horns, and very large trees which the sea had cast there; they were more than sixty feet long and so thick that two men could not reach around one of them. They looked like cypresses; and there were cedars. There was a great quantity of this timber, but this island contains nothing else except a good port. They remained at this island imtil the following Sunday.
On Sunday, the 3d of the month of September, they left said Island of San Agustin and continued sailing on their course; and on the following Monday they cast anchor at the shore, about seven leagues to the wiadward, on a coast running north and south. At once they continued their course, sailing with favorable though light winds on a coast running north and south, until Thursday, the 7th of said month of September, when they went to cast anchor in a bay which the land forms. Here the coast ceases to nm north and south and turns to the northwest. At this bay there is a large valley; the land is level at the coast, and inland there are high mountains, and rough land which appears to be good. All the coast is bold, with a smooth and shallow bottom, for at half a league they were at anchor in ten fathoms. About here there is much vegetation on the water.
On the following Friday, the 8th of said month, they sailed with light winds, working to windward, and encountering adverse currents. They went to anchor under a headland which forms a cape and affords good shelter from the west-northwest. They named it Cape San Martin. It forms a spur of land on both sides; here end some high mountains which come from behind, and here begin other small mountains. There is one large valley, and many others; apparently the land is good. The port is in thirty-two and one-half degrees. It is a clear port and soundable. Its direction from the island of San Agustin is north.
While at this Cape of San Martin they went ashore for water and found a small lake of fresh water, where they got a supply. To this watering place came forty Indians with bows and arrows. They could not make each other understood. The Indians were naked; they brought roasted maguey and fish to eat. They are large people. Here they took possession. They were at this cape until the following Monday.
On Monday, the 8th of said month, they left Cape San Martin and sailed some four leagues on a coast running north-northeast-south-southwest, and from there the coast turns northwest. The land is high and bare. Next day they sailed along a coast nmning from northwest to southeast a matter of six leagues. All this coast is bold and clear. The next day they sailed, with foul winds, a matter of four leagues, still on a coast running from northwest to southeast. On the land there are high broken mountains. On the following Thursday they cast anchor about three leagues farther on, under a headland which extends into the sea and forms a cape on both sides. It is called Cabo de Cruz (Cape of the Cross); it is in thirty-three degrees. There is neither water nor wood, nor did they find a sign of Indians.
Having departed from Cabo de la Cruz, because of headwinds they found themselves on the following Saturday two leagues from the same cape on a coast running from north-northwest to south-southeast. At the shore they saw Indians in some very small canoes. The land is very high, bare, and dry. All the land from California to here is sandy near the shore, but here begins land of another sort, the soil being reddish and of better appearance.
On Sunday, the 17th day of the said month, they sailed on in continuation of their voyage, and about six leagues from Cabo de Cruz they found a good and closed port. To reach it they passed a small island which is near the mainland. In this port they took on water from a small lake of rainwater. There are groves of trees like silk-cotton trees, excepting that they are of hard wood. They found thick and tall trees which the sea brings. This port is called San Mateo. The land appears to be good; there are large savannahs, and the grass is like that of Spain. The land is high and broken. They saw some herds of animals like cattle, which went in droves of a hundred or more, and which, from their appearance, from their gait, and the long wool, looked like Peruvian sheep. They have small horns a span in length and as thick as the thumb. The tail is broad and round and a palm long. This place is in thirty-three and one-third degrees. They took possession here. They remained in this port until the following Saturday.
On Saturday, the 23d of said month, they left said port of San Mateo and sailed along the coast until the Monday following, when they must have gone about eighteen leagues. They saw very beautiful valleys and groves, and country both level and rough, but no Indians were seen.
On the following Tuesday and Wednesday they sailed along the coast about eight leagues, passing by some three islands completely denuded of soil. One of them is larger than the others. It is about two leagues in circumference and affords shelter from the west winds. They are three leagues from the mainland, and are in thirty-four degrees. They called them Islas Desiertas (Desert Islands). This day great smokes were seen on the land. The country appears to be good and has large valleys, and in the interior there are high mountains.
On the following Thursday they went about six leagues along a coast running north-northwest, and discovered a port, closed and very good, which they named San Miguel. It is in thirty-four and one-third degrees. Having cast anchor in it, they went ashore where there were people. Three of them waited, but all the rest fled. To these three they gave some presents and they said by signs that in the interior men like the Spaniards had passed. They gave signs of great fear. On the night of this day they went ashore from the ships to fish with a net, and it appears that here there were some Indians, and that they began to shoot at them with arrows and wounded three men.
Next day in the morning they went with the boat farther into the port, which is large, and brought two boys, who understood nothing by signs. They gave them both shirts and sent them away immediately.
Next day in the morning three adult Indians came to the ships and said by signs that in the interior men like us were travelling about, bearded, clothed, and armed like those of the ships. They made signs that they carried crossbows and swords; and they made gestures with the right arm as if they were throwing lances, and ran around as if they were on horseback. They made signs that they were killing many native Indians, and that for this reason they were afraid. These people are comely and large. They go about covered with skins of animals. While they were in this port a heavy storm occurred, but since the port is good they did not feel it at all. It was a violent storm from the west-southwest and the south-southwest. This is the first storm which they have experienced. They remained in this port imtil the following Tuesday. The people here called the Christians Guacamal.
On the following Tuesday, the 3d of the month of October, they departed from this port of San Miguel, and on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, they held their course a matter of eighteen leagues along the coast, where they saw many valleys and plains, and many smokes, and mountains in the interior. At nightfall they were near some islands which are some seven leagues from the mainland, but because the wind went down they could not reach them that night.
At daybreak on Saturday, the 7th of the month of October, they were at the islands which they named San Salvador and La Vitoria. They anchored at one of them and went ashore with the boat to see if there were people; and when the boat came near, a great number of Indians emerged from the bushes and grass, shouting, dancing, and making signs that they should land. As they saw that the women were fleeing, from the boats they made signs that they should not be afraid. Immediately they were reassured, and laid their bows and arrows on the ground and launched in the water a good canoe which held eight or ten Indians, and came to the ships. They gave them beads and other articles, with which they were pleased, and then they returned. Afterward the Spaniards went ashore, and they, the Indian women, and all felt very secure. Here an old Indian made signs to them that men like the Spaniards, clothed and bearded, were going about on the mainland. They remained on this island only till midday.
On the following Sunday, the 8th of said month, they drew near to the mainland in a large bay which they called Bay of Los Fumos, (Bay of the Smokes), because of the many smokes which they saw on it. Here they held a colloquy with some Indians whom they captured in a canoe, and who made signs that toward the north there were Spaniards like them. This bay is in thirty-five degrees and is a good port, and the country is good, with many valleys, plains, and groves.
On the following Monday, the 9th of the said month of October, they left the Bay of Los Fuegos (the Fires), and sailed this day some six leagues, anchoring in a large bay. From here they departed the next day, Tuesday, and sailed some eight leagues along a coast running from northwest to southeast. We saw on the land a pueblo of Indians close to the sea, the houses being large like those of New Spain. They anchored in front of a very large valley on the coast. Here there came to the ships many very good canoes, each of which held twelve or thirteen Indians; they told them of Christians who were going about in the interior. The coast runs from northwest to southeast. Here they gave them some presents, with which they were greatly pleased. They indicated by signs that in seven days they could go to where the Spaniards were, and Juan Rodriguez decided to send two Spaniards into the interior. They also indicated that there was a great river. With these Indians they sent a letter at a venture to the Christians. They named this town the Pueblo of Las Canoas. The Indians dress in skins of animals; they are fishermen and eat raw fish; they were eating maguey also. This pueblo is in thirty-five and one-third degrees. The interior of the country is a very fine valley; and they made signs that in that valley there was much maize and abundant food. Behind the valley appear some very high mountains and very broken country. They call the Christians Taquimine. Here they took possession and here they remained until Friday, the 13th day of said month.
On Friday, the 13th of said month of October, they left the pueblo of Las Canoas to continue their voyage, and sailed this day six or seven leagues, passing along the shores of two large islands. Each of them must be four leagues long, and they must be about four leagues from the mainland. They are uninhabited, because they have no water, but they have good ports. The coast of the mainland trends to the west-northwest. It is a country of many savannahs and groves. On the following Saturday they continued on their course, but made no more than two leagues, anchoring in front of a magnificent valley densely populated, with level land, and many groves. Here came canoes with fish to barter; the Indians were very friendly.
On the following Sunday, the 15th day of the said month, they continued on their course along the coast for about ten leagues; all the way there were many canoes, for the whole coast is very densely populated; and many Indians kept boarding the ships. They pointed out the pueblos and told us their names. They are Xuco, Bis, Sopono, Alloc, Xabaagua, Xocotoc, Potoltuc, Nacbuc, Quelqueme, Misinagua, Misesopano, Elquis, Coloc, Mugu, Xagua, Anacbuc, Partocac, Susuquey, Quanmu, Gua, Asimu, Aguin, Casalic, Tucumu, and Incpupu.
All these pueblos are between the first pueblo of Las Canoas, which is called Xucu, and this point. They are in a very good country, with fine plains and many groves and savannahs. The Indians go dressed in skins. They said that in the interior there were many pueblos, and much maize three days' journey from there. They call maize Oep. They also said that there were many cows; these they call Cae. They also told us of people bearded and clothed.
This day they passed along the shore of a large island which must be fifteen leagues long. They said that it was very densely populated and that there were the following pueblos: Niquipos, Maxul, Xugua, Nitel, Macamo, and Nimitapal. They called this island San Lucas. From here to the pueblo of Las Canoas it must be about eighteen leagues. The island must be about six leagues from the mainland.
On Monday, the 16th of the said month, sailing along the coast, they made about four leagues, and cast anchor in the afternoon in front of two pueblos. All this day, likewise, many canoes came with the ships and made signs that farther on there were canoes much larger.
On the following Tuesday, the 17th of the said month, they made three leagues, with favorable winds. Many canoes went with the ships from daybreak, and the captain kept giving them many presents. All this coast which they have passed is very thickly settled. The Indians brought for them many sardines, fresh and very good. They say that in the interior there are many pueblos and abundant food. They ate no maize. They were dressed in skins, and wore their hair very long and tied up with long strings interwoven with the hair, there being attached to the strings many gewgaws of flint, bone, and wood. The country appears to be very fine.
On Wednesday, the 18th of the said month, they proceeded along the coast imtil ten o'clock, seeing that all the coast was populated; and because there was a fresh wind and canoes did not come to them, they drew near to a headland which forms a cape like a galley, and named it Cape Galera. It is in thirty-six degrees, full. And because a strong northwest wind struck them they stood off shore and discovered two islands, one large, probably about eight leagues long from east to west, the other about four leagues. They are inhabited, and in this small one there is a good port. They are ten leagues from the mainland. They are called the Islands of San Lucas. From the mainland to Cape Galera the coast runs west-northwest. The district from the pueblo of Las Canoas to Cape Galera is a densely populated province and is called Xexu. Many languages distinct from each other are spoken in it. They have bitter wars with one another. From the pueblo of Las Canoas to Cape Galera it is thirty leagues. They remained in these islands until the following Wednesday because it was very stormy.
On Wednesday, the 25th of said month, they left these islands, setting out from the one which was most to windward. It has a very good port, which within gives shelter from all storms of the sea. They called it La Posesion. This day they made little headway because there was no wind. The following midnight they were struck by a wind from the south-southwest and west-southwest, with rain, which put them in peril, because it was an on-shore wind and they were near land, and they were unable to double the cape on one tack or the other. At vespers the following Thursday the wind drove them offshore, to the south, whereupon they continued on their course some ten leagues on a coast running from north-northwest to south-southeast. All this coast is inhabited and the country appears to be good. That night they held out to sea because the wind was on-shore, and on Friday, Saturday, and Simday they sailed with contrary winds, beating about from one side to the other, without being able to make headway. They were in thirty-six and one-half degrees, and ten leagues from Cape Galera. They continued also on Monday, and on Tuesday, the 31st of the said month, eve of the Feast of All Saints, tacking back and forth, trying to approach the mainland in search of a large river which they had heard was on the other side of Cape Galera, and because on the land there were signs of rivers. But they found none, neither did they anchor here, because the coast was very bold.
This month they found on this coast the same weather as in Spain from thirty-four degrees and upward, with severe cold in the mornings and at night, and with storms, very dark and cloudy weather, and heavy atmosphere.
On Wednesday, the 1st day of November, at midnight, standing off, they encountered a heavy wind from the north-northwest, which prevented them from carrying a palm of sail, and by dawn it had freshened so that they were forced to seek shelter, and they therefore went to take refuge imder Cape Galera. There they cast anchor and went ashore; and although there was a large pueblo which they call Xexo, because wood did not appear to be close at hand they decided to go to the pueblo of Las Sardinas, because there the water and wood were close and handy. This shelter under Galera they caUed the port of Todos Santos. On the following Thursday they went to the pueblo of Las Sardinas, where they remained three days, taking on water and wood. The natives of the country aided them and brought the wood and water to the ships. This pueblo of the port of Sardinas they call Cicacut; the others, between there and Cape Galera, are Ciucut, Anacot, Maquinanoa, Paltatre, Anacoat, Olesino, Caacat, Paltocac, Tocane, Opia, Opistopia, Nocos, Yutum, Quiman, Micoma, Garomisopona. The ruler of these pueblos is an old Indian woman, who came to the ships and slept two nights on the captain's ship, as did many Indians. The pueblo of Ciucut appeared to be the capital of the rest, for they came there from other pueblos at the call of this ruler. The pueblo which is at the cape they call Xexo. From this port to the pueblo of Las Canoas is another province which they call Xucu. Their houses are round and very well covered clear to the ground. They wear skins of many kinds of animals. They eat oak acorns, and a seed the size of maize. It is white, and from it they make tamales; it is a good food. They say that in the interior there is much maize, and that men like us are going about there. This port is in thirty-five and two-thirds degrees.
On Monday, the 6th of said month of November, they left the said port of Sardinas; that day they made almost no progress, and until the following Friday they sailed with very light wind. That day we arrived at Cape Galera. During all this course they could make no use of the Indians who came aboard with water and fish, and appeared very friendly. They have in their pueblos large plazas, and have an enclosure like a fence; and around the enclosure they have many blocks of stone set in the ground, and projecting three palms above it. Within the enclosures they have many timbers set up like thick masts. On these poles they have many paintings, and we thought that they worshipped them, because when they dance they go dancing around the enclosure.
On the following Saturday, the day of San Martin, the 11th of the said month of November, they held on their course, sailing along the coast, and that morning found themselves twelve leagues from the cape in the same place where they had first arrived. All this day they had good wind, and they journeyed along the coast from southeast to northwest, making twenty leagues. All this coast which they ran this day is bold and entirely without shelter. All along it rims a chain of very high mountains. It is as high at the seacoast as in the interior, and the sea beats upon it. They saw no settlement nor any smokes, and all the coast, which has no shelter from the north, is uninhabited. They named these mountains the Sierras de San Martin. They are in thirty-seven and one-half degrees. Their northwest extremity forms a cape which juts into the sea. It is in thirty-eight degrees. They named it Cape Martin.
At four o'clock this Saturday night, when lying-to at sea about six leagues from the coast, waiting for morning, with a southeast wind, there blew up so heavy a gale from the southwest and south-southwest, with rain and dark clouds, that they could not carry a palm of sail, and were forced to scud with a small foresail, with much labor, the whole night. On the following Sunday the tempest became much more violent and continued all day, all night, and until noon of the following day. The storm was as severe as any there could be in Spain. On Saturday night they lost sight of their consort.
On Monday, the 13th of said month of November, at the hour of vespers, the wind calmed down and shifted to the west, and at once they set sail and went in search of the consort, steering towards the land, praying to God that they might find her, for they greatly feared that she might be lost. They ran to the north and north-northwest with a wind from the west and west-northwest, and at daybreak on the following Tuesday they sighted the land. They had to run until the afternoon, when they went to reconnoitre a very high coast, and then proceeded along the coast to see if there were any port where they might take shelter. So great was the swell of the ocean that it was terrifying to see, and the coast was bold and the mountains very high. In the afternoon they lay-to for shelter. The coast runs from northwest to southeast. They examined the coast at a point which projects into the sea and forms a cape. The point is covered with timber, and is in forty degrees.
On Wednesday, the 15th of said month, they sighted the consort, whereupon they heartily thanked God, for they had thought her lost. They made toward her, and in the afternoon they joined company. Those on the other ship had experienced greater labor and risk than those of the captain's ship, since it was a small vessel and had no deck. This country where they were sailing is apparently very good, but they saw no Indians or smokes. There are large mountains covered with snow, and there is heavy timber. At night they lowered sails and lay-to.
On the following Thursday, the 16th of the said month of November, they found themselves at daybreak in a great bay, which came at a turn, and which appeared to have a port and river. They held on, beating about that day and night and on the following Friday, until they saw that there was neither river nor shelter. In order to take possession they cast anchor in forty-five fathoms, but they did not dare go ashore because of the high sea. This bay is in thirty-nine degrees, full, and its entire shore is covered with pines clear to the sea. They named it Bay of Los Pinos, That night they lay-to until the following day.
The following Saturday they ran along the coast, and at night found themselves off Cape San Martin. All the coast run this day is very bold; the sea has a heavy swell, and the coast is very high. There are mountains which reach the sky, and the sea beats upon them. When sailing along near the land, it seems as if the mountains would fall upon the ships. They are covered with snow to the summit, and they named them the Sierras Nevadas. At the beginning of them a cape is formed which projects into the sea, and which they named Cape Nieve. The coast runs from north-northwest to south-southeast. It does not appear that Indians live on this coast. This Cape Nieve is in thirty-eight and two-thirds degrees. Whenever the wind blew from the northwest the weather was clear and fair.
On Thursday, the 23d of the month, they arrived, on the return, in the islands of San Lucas, at one of them called La Posesion. They had run the entire coast, point by point, from Cape Pinos to the islands, and had found no shelter whatever, wherefore they were forced to return to said island because during these past days there was a strong wind from the west-northwest, and the swell of the sea was heavy. From Cape Martin to Cape Pinos we did not see a single Indian, the reason being that the coast is bold, rugged, and without shelter. But southeast of Cape Martin for fifteen leagues they found the land inhabited, and with many smokes, because the country is good. But from Cape Martin up to forty degrees we saw no sign of Indians. Cape Martin is in thirty-seven and one-half degrees.
Passing the winter on the island of La Posesion, on the 3d of the month of January, 1543, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, captain of the said ships, departed from this life, as the result of a fall which he suffered on said island when they were there before, from which he broke an arm near the shoulder. He left as captain the chief pilot, who was one Bartolome Ferrelo, a native of the Levant. At the time of his death he emphatically charged them not to leave off exploring as much as possible of all that coast. They named the island the Island of Juan Rodriguez. The Indians call it Ciquimuymu; the next they call Nicalque, and the next, Limu. On this island of La Posesion there are two pueblos, one called Zaco and the other Nimollollo. On the next island there are three pueblos, one called Nichochi, another Coycoy, and another Estocoloco. On the third island there are eight pueblos, namely, Niquesesquelua, Poele, Pisqueno, Pualnacatup, Patiquiu, Patiquilid, Ninumu, Muoc, Pilidquay, and Lilibeque.
The Indians of these islands are very poor. They are fishermen, and they eat nothing except fish. They sleep on the ground. Their sole business and employment is fishing. They say that in each house there are fifty persons. They live very swinishly, and go about naked.
They remained on these islands from the 23d of November till the 19th of January. During all this time, which was nearly two months, there were very heavy winter winds and rains. The prevailing winds were west-southwest, south-southwest, and west-northwest. There were very violent winds.
On Friday, the 19th of the said month of January, 1543, they set sail from the island of Juan Rodriguez, which is called Ciquimuymu, to go to the mainland in search of some provisions for their voyage. As they were leaving the port they encountered a heavy wind from the west-northwest, which forced them to seek shelter at the other islands of San Lucas. They anchored at the island of Limun, which they called San Salvador.^ They were forced to weigh anchor again and depart, because there was no port other than the shelter of the islands. The wind shifted on-shore, and they sailed around these islands eight days with very foul winds, taking shelter from them under the islands themselves; and on the twenty-seventh of said month they entered the same port of the island of Juan Rodriguez where they had been at first. Their greatest difiiculty was because the winds were not steady, for they kept changing about from one direction to another. Those most constant are from the west-northwest and west-southwest.
Tuesday, the 29th of the said month of January, they set sail from the island of Juan Rodriguez for the island of San Lucas, which is between the others, to get certain anchors which they had left there during a storm, not being able to raise them. They recovered them and took on water.
They left this island of San Lucas on Monday, the 12th of the month of February, not being able to do so sooner because of the bad weather, with winds and heavy snow, which they encountered. It is inhabited and the people are like those of the other island. The Indians call it Nicalque. There are three pueblos on it, called Nicochi, Coycoy, and Coloco. This day they went to the port of Las Sardinas to get wood and other things necessary for their voyage, for there were none on the islands.
On Wednesday, the 14th of the said month, they left the port of Las Sardinas, having secured a boatload of wood. They did not dare remain there longer because of the heavy sea. They did not find so many Indians as at first, nor any fishing at all, because it was winter. The natives were eating acorns from the oaks, and another seed, and raw plants from the field. From here they went to the island of San Salvador, because they were safer there from the storms in setting sail to run out to sea.
On Sunday, the 18th of the said month of February, they left the island of San Salvador with a favorable northeast wind, and ran to the southwest, because they told them that toward the southwest there were other islands. At nightfall of this day, when they were about twelve leagues from the island of San Salvador, they saw six islands, some large and some small. This day a sailor died. On the following Monday, at daybreak, they were at sea about ten leagues to windward of the islands; and with the wind in the west-northwest they stood off to the southwest five days, at the end of which time they had made about a hundred leagues. Finding the winds more violent and a heavy sea, on Thursday, the 22d of said month of February, they turned again toward the land to go in search of Cape Pinos, with a wind from the south-southeast which lasted for three days and became each day more violent. On the following Sunday, at daybreak, they sighted Cape Pinos, and at nightfall of the same day were twenty leagues to windward on a coast running from northwest to southeast. It is bold and without shelter. Not a single smoke was seen on the land. They saw a point which was like a spur of land where the coast turned north-northwest. At midnight the wind shifted to the south-southwest, and they ran west-northwest till next day. In the morning the wind shifted to the west-southwest and became very strong, lasting till the following Tuesday. They ran toward the northwest.
Tuesday, the 27th of said month, the wind shifted to the south-southwest, and continued in that direction all day. They ran west-northwest with foresails lowered, because the wind was high. At night the wind shifted to the west. They ran south all night with but little sail. There was a high sea which broke over them.
On the following Wednesday, the 28th of said month, at daybreak, the wind shifted directly to the southwest, and did not blow hard. This day they took the latitude in forty-three degrees. Toward night the wind freshened and shifted to the south-southwest. They ran this night to the west-northwest, with great difficulty, and on Thursday, in the morning, the wind shifted to the southwest with great fury, the seas coming from many directions, causing them great fatigue and breaking over the ships; and as they had no decks, if God had not succored them they could not have escaped. Not being able to lay-to, they were forced to scud northeast toward the land; and now, thinking themselves lost, they commended themselves to Our Lady of Guadalupe and made their vows. Thus they ran until three o'clock in the afternoon, with great fear and travail, because they concluded that they were about to be lost, for they saw many signs that land was near by, both birds and very green trees, which came from some rivers, although because the weather was very dark and cloudy the land was invisible. At this hour the Mother of God succored them, by the grace of her Son, for a very heavy rainstorm came up from the north which drove them south with foresails lowered all night and until sunset the next day; and as there was a high sea from the south it broke every time over the prow and swept over them as over a rock. The wind shifted to the northwest and to the north-northwest with great fury, forcing them to scud to the southeast and east-southeast until Saturday the 3d of March, with a sea so high that they became crazed, and if God and his blessed Mother had not miraculously saved them they could not have escaped. On Saturday at midday the wind calmed down and remained in the northwest, for which they gave heartfelt thanks to our Lord. With respect to food they also suffered hardship, because they had nothing but damaged biscuit.
It appears to them that there is a very large river, of which they had much notice, between forty-one and forty-three degrees, because they saw many signs of it. This day in the afternoon they recognized Cape Pinos, but because of the high sea they were forced to rim the coast in return in search of a port. They experienced great cold.
On Monday, the 5th of the month of March, 1543, in the morning, they found themselves at the island of Juan Rodriguez, but they did not dare enter the port because of the high tempest which caused breakers at its entrance in fifteen fathoms. The wind was from the north-northwest. The entrance is narrow. They ran to shelter under the island of San Salvador on the southeast side. The night before, coming with a high tempest, with only two small foresails, they lost sight of the other ship, and feared that she had been swallowed up by the sea; and they were unable to find her again, even in the morning. They think that they must have been in forty-four degrees when struck by the last storm which drove them to shelter.
On Thursday, the 8th of the said month, they left the island of San Salvador to go to the mainland in search of the other ship. They went to the pueblo of Las Canoas, but did not get any news of her. Here they secured four Indians.
On the following Friday, the 9th of the said month, they left the pueblo of Las Canoas and went to the island of San Salvador, but still did not find the consort.
On Sunday, the 11th of said month, they reached the port of San MigueP but did not find the consort there, or any news of her. Here they waited six days; here they secured two boys to take to New Spain as interpreters, and left certain signals in case the other ship should come here.
On Saturday, the 17th of the said month, they left said port of San Miguel. On the following Sunday they reached the Bay of San Mateo, but still did not find trace of the other ship.
On Sunday, the 18th of said month, in the afternoon, they left this Bay of San Mateo, and on the following Wednesday, the 21st of said month, they arrived at the port of La Posesion, but still found no news of the consort. They waited two days without entering the port, because they did not dare to enter it on account of the high northwest wind; and because they parted their cable they were forced to weigh anchor.
On Friday, the 23d day of said month, they left the port of La Posesion, and on the following Saturday, at midnight, they reached the island of Cedros; and being there on the following Monday, the 26th of the said month, the other ship arrived at the island of Cedros, whereupon they were greatly rejoiced and gave hearty thanks to God. This ship passed by the island of Juan Rodriguez, striking some shoals at night and they thought they would be lost, but the sailors promised Our Lady to make a pilgrimage to her church stripped to the waist, and she saved them.
On Monday, the 2d day of the month of April, they left the island of Cedros to return to New Spain, because they had no supplies with which to again attempt to explore the coast. They arrived in the port of Navidad on Saturday, the 14th day of the said month of April.
As captain of the ships came Bartolome Ferrel, chief pilot of the ships, in lieu of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who died on the island of La Posesion. In said ships came [...] men.
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