“It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand.”
Helping people gain a deeper understanding of history—especially maritime history—is one of our goals at Call of the Sea. Those who sail with us on schooner Seaward or brigantine Matthew Turner experience a piece of the past: what is was like to be on a traditionally rigged ship, adjusting to shifting winds and tides, working hard as a team to stay on course. The experience may cause us to wonder if one of our ancestors may have come to this land by sea— and how that seminal voyage may have influenced the course we are on today.
For thirty days between September 15 and October 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, first declared by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. The starting day was chosen because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Closer to home, 29 year old Spanish Naval officer Manuel de Ayala, patron of the ship San Carlos, was the first European to sail into San Francisco Bay. In August of 1775, the San Carlos anchored in what is now called Ayala Cove on the north shore of what the ship’s priest, Father Vincente, christened as Isla de Los Angeles.
Ayala’s entry into the Bay followed the 1769-1770 expedition of Gaspar de Portola, Governor of Las Californias, credited with “discovering” San Francisco Bay by land.
Within a hundred years of the arrival of Spanish soldiers and missionaries, the Bay Area was teeming with newcomers, many arriving on ships abandoned by crews seeking gold or a better life, shaping us in ever evolving ways that we seek to understand.
“What matters in life is not what happens to you, but what you remember and how you remember it.” —Gabriel Garcia Marquez
For a story written in part on board our schooner Seaward sailing out to greet Peruvian tall ship UNION in 2019, see the Latitude 38 story.
Anchors aweigh, Steven Woodside, Member, Call of the Sea Board of Directors