The Explorers, 1492-1774
TRANSLATION: Diary of Sebastian Vizcaino
Until the next day, when we set sail, they [Indians I remained on the beach shouting. This port was given the name of San Diego.
“Departure from the Port of San Diego and Arrival at the Island of Santa Catalina”
We left the port of San Diego, as has been said, on a Wednesday, the 20th of the said month, and the same day the general ordered Ensign Sebastian Melendes to go ahead with the frigate to examine a bay which was to windward some four leagues, and directed that the pilot should sound it, map it, and find out what was there. He did so, and the next day ordered the return to the captain’s ship. He reported to the general that he had entered the said bay, that it was a good port, although it had at its entrance a bar of little more than two fathoms depth, and that there was a very large grove at an estuary which extended into the land, and many Indians: and that he had not gone ashore. Thereupon we continued our voyage, skirting along the coast until the 24th of the month, which was the eve of the feast of the glorious Santa Catalina, when we discovered three large islands. We approached them with difficulty because of a head-wind, and arrived at the middle one, which is more than twenty-five leagues around.
On the 27th of the month, and before casting anchor in a very good cove which was found, a multitude of Indians came out in canoes of cedar and pine, made of planks very well joined and calked, each one with eight oars and with fourteen or fifteen Indians, who looked like galley-slaves. They came alongside without the least fear and came on board our ships, mooring their own. They showed great pleasure at seeing us, telling us by signs that we must land, and guiding us like pilots to the anchorage. The general received them kindly and gave them some presents, especially to the boys. We anchored, and the admiral, Ensign Alarcon, Father Fray Antonio, and Captain Peguero, with some soldiers, went ashore. Many Indians were on the beach, and the women treated us to roasted sardines and a small fruit like sweet potatoes.
Translated by Herbert Eugene Bolton in “Spanish Exploration in the Southwest,” 82-83, published by Barnes & Noble.
Return to Books.
Ch. 1. Before the Explorers
Ch. 2. The Early Explorers
Ch. 3. The Story of Cabrillo
Ch. 4. The First to Arrive
Ch. 5. Sebastian Vizcaino
Ch. 6. Padres Lead the Way
Ch. 7. Fray Junipero Serra
Ch. 8. Expeditions by Sea
Ch. 9. Expeditions by Land
Ch. 10. Portola Goes North
Ch. 11. The Cross is Raised
Ch. 12. Anza Finds the Way
Ch. 13. Settlement at Last
1. Historiae Verdadera of Bernal Diaz del Castillo
2. Relation of the Voyage of Cabrillo
3. Informacion of 1560
4. Father Ascension’s Account of the Voyage of Sebastian Vizcaino
5. Diary of Sebastian Vizcaino
6. Palou’s Historical Memoirs of New California
7. Costanso’s Narrative of the Portola Expedition
8. Diary of Vicente Vila
9. Diary of Junipero Serra, Loreto to San Diego, March 28-July 1, 1769
10. Diary of Don Gaspar de Portola
11. De Anza Diary
12. Father Garces’ Diary
13. Record of Voyage by Francisco de Ulloa