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San Francisco in the 1930sThe WPA Guide to the City by the Bay$
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Federal Writers Project of the Works Project Administration

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520268807

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520268807.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Harbor and its Islands

The Harbor and its Islands

Chapter:
(p.356) (p.357) The Harbor and its Islands
Source:
San Francisco in the 1930s
Author(s):

David Kipen

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520268807.003.0022

For two centuries before the discovery of the Golden Gate, the navigators of Portugal, Spain, and England carefully avoided the sea approaches to the Port of San Francisco. The forbidding coastline and frequent fogs were not alone responsible for its prolonged obscurity: the outer islands indicated the danger of submerged rocks and shoals in the Farallones Gulf. Although soundings were taken by Sebastian Cermeno in 1595, not until 180 years later were any mariner bold enough to steer his ship through the Golden Gate. When the master of the San Carlos ventured through the strait in 1775, he sent a pilot boat ahead to chart the depth of the channel. Even within the Gate, Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala's little packet proceeded with extreme caution: only too obvious was the danger of being swept out to sea by the ebb tide, whose current had permitted passage only after the vessel's third attempt at entry.

Keywords:   Golden Gate, Portugal, Spain, England, San Francisco, Farallones Gulf, Sebastian Cermeno, Juan Manuel de Ayala

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