28 September 2007

Don't Ask For Directions

For almost a century, it had been known that there was this great honking blob of land between Europe and China. The best of the 16th century navigators had tried everything they could think of to find a Northwest Passage, southern strait, or a navigable river through an istmus without success. Oh you could sail down and around, but that strait found by Magellen was a real ___________ (fill in your favorite Portuguese profanity) to navigate. If you are in California and ask for directions to Cabrillo, you just might get lost because on the 27th of September in 1542 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was looking for a way to get through the North American continent and found a big bay that just might lead to a cross country passage. No such luck, he had just found San Diego. He continued up the coast hunting for the mythic strait without success before giving up and going home.

As a result there are lots of Cabrillos dotting the geography from South to North:

Cabrillo National Monument at Point Loma (nice Lighthouse) - San Diego County

Cabrillo Marina - Chula Vista, San Diego County

Cabrillo Beach - Los Angeles, Los Angeles County

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium - San Pedro, Los Angeles County

Cabrillo College - Santa Cruz County

Point Cabrillo - Mendocino County (another nice Lighthouse)

Many, many schools and social groups. One of the best is the Cabrillo Civic Clubs founded by Californians of Portuguese descent.

Over 450 years later, Juan might be a bit more successful. Thanks to global warming, the Northwest Passage soon may be navigable.


vanillabirdies said...

Hi Jamie,

My 23 minutes have been up for quite a while I think. I'm slowly crawling back. As well as checking mail.

I loved, loved, loved the Classic Movie Favorites site! I'm a big David Niven and Orson Welles fan (Niven since I think forever and Welles since Citizen Kane at nine...Turned around to 9/11 and said "Rosebud's the sled, right?"..."Shh.") so it was another great find.

And I'll watch and adore any actress who wore makeup like no one's business. Thank you for the link!

Interesting entry, I never knew of the area. Or it's many illusive connections.

And how are you otherwise?

Linda said...

What a lovely post, really makes me miss the California coast! I was talking about explorers the other day at work, how these days it's got to be totally boring to be one as most things have been found already and most of the adventure is taken out of them anyway because of all the new electronic gadgets. It's certainly nowhere near as exciting as getting in a sailin ship and just heading out must have been! Granted, the accomodations are better now but still!

By the by, speaking of discovering new things, I have tagged you for a meme over at my blog!

Matt-Man said...

Didnt he later go on to play shortstop for the Padres? Have a good weekend Jamie. Cheers!!