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Report of Don Juan Manuel de Ayala
Commander of the Packet Boat San Carlos


Don Antonio Maria Bucareli

Viceroy of New Spain

On the Examination of the Port of San Francisco

Your Excellency: - I have finished the orders under which I took command of the San Carlos, returning to this port of San Blas today, November 6th, after having visited the ports of Monterey and San Francisco.

Although Your Excellency will see in the account of my examination, together with the pilot, Don José Cañizares' report of his examination and the map he made of this port, the nature of the work done. I will, notwithstanding in this, give a brief account, that shows the port of San Francisco to be one of the best that I have seen on this coast from Cape Horn.

After one hundred and one days of navigation, I arrived at the harbor of Monterey, where I had to remain till July 27th, discharging the cargo and making some repairs necessary for the safety of my vessel. On July 27th, I started in search of the Port of San Francisco, where I arrived on the night of August 5th. I remained there forty-four days, inspecting by myself, or by my pilot, with all possible accuracy, everything that pertains to this matter.

It is true that this port is good, not only for the beautiful harmony that offers to the view, but because it does not lack very good fresh water, wood, and ballast in abundance. Its climate though cold, is healthful and free from those troublesome fogs which we had daily in Monterey, because the fogs here hardly reach the entrance of the port, and once inside the harbor, the weather is very clear. To these many advantages is to be added the best: and this is that the heathen Indians around this port are so constant in their good friendship and so gentle in their manners, that I received them with pleasure on board several times, and I had the sailors frequently visit with them on land; so that from the first to the last day, they remained the same in their behavior. This made me present them with trinkets, beads, and biscuit; the last they learned to ask for clearly in our language.

There is no doubt that this good friendship was a great comfort to us, enabling us to make with less fear the reconnaissance that was ordered of me. Although in a letter written by Your Excellency to my predecessor, Don Miguel Manrique, dated January 2d, I read that it was possible we might find in San Francisco the land expedition undertaken by Captain Don Juan de Anza; I did not on that account refuse the offer of another small land expedition which the Captain of Monterey, Don Fernando de Rivera, made me. I did not see either of them while I remained in that port, but I did not, on that account, postpone the reconnaissance. I could not do all of this in person, because I was convalescing from a serious wound in my right foot, received April 3d by the accidental discharge of a double-barrel pistol, which Don Miguel Manrique had left loaded in the cabin. Notwithstanding this, I am satisfied that Don José Cañizares executed with his usual ability everything I entrusted to his care. I therefore state to Your Excellency (in order that the merit of his work may not be ignored), that as long as he was with me, he acted not only with his usual honesty, but showed such great talent in his profession that in the midst of my troubles I found him one to entrust with the more delicate points of my duty.

On September 7th, I decided to leave the Port of San Francisco, as I considered the reconnaissance completed, and in doing this, having no wind, I was carried by the strong current against some rocks, injuring the rudder and breaking two female and one male bolts. This obliged me to enter a cove, where I repaired as well as possible the accident, and again tried to sail forth, a light breeze from the north (the only one I noticed in the forty-four days) aiding the sailing. On the 18th, because the rudder was injured, and those who had been on this coast before had warned me that at this time of year the weather was very severe, I determined to pass the Equinox at Monterey, and arrived there on the 19th. At this port I found the frigate Santiago. The schooner came October 7th, and I left for San Blas on the 13th, where I am sick of my foot, but always desirous to obey Your Excellency.

I pray the Lord to keep the life of Your Excellency many years.

San Blas, November 9, 1775.

Juan Manuel de Ayala.
To His Excellency, Bailio Frey Don Antonio Maria Bucareli.

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