One of the many sights you will enjoy while on a sailing tour with Lucky Sol Sailing is Point Loma. This sand-stone covered peninsula rises 422′ above the sea and is a defining land mass of San Diego bay. At the top of Point Loma, where the stunning panoramic views will take your breath away, sits the Cabrillo National Monument. Here you will find a 14 foot tall sandstone statue of Cabrillo heroically looking out over the bay which he discovered over 450 years ago.
The history of this area and Cabrillo is as interesting as the views are beautiful. Not much is known about Cabrillo’s early years but he shows up in the historical record in 1519 when he was serving as a Captain of crossbowmen under the famous conquistador Hernan Cortes during the brutal battles between the Spanish and Aztecs. After the defeat of the Aztecs, Cabrillo continued to serve in the Spanish military as an expedition commander exploring what is today San Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.
He eventually settled in Guatemala where he was rewarded by the King of Spain for his service to the crown with long term land leases for mining and farming property. There he gained wealth and established himself as a community leader, businessman, and ship builder. In 1532 he returned to Spain where he met and married Beatriz Sanchez de Ortega. After their nuptials they returned to Guatemala where she bore two sons.
On June 24, 1542 Cabrillo departed what is now Manzanillo on an expedition to explore the coast north and west of New Spain (Mexico) in search of a trading route between Central America and the Asian Spice Islands. The flagship of this expedition was the San Salvador which Cabrillo built himself. A replica of this ship can be seen sailing the bay today. On the 103rd day of the journey the San Salvador and her crew sailed into the San Diego bay, probably landing at Ballast Point. Cabrillo named the site San Miguel and described it as “a closed and very good port”. It was later renamed San Diego by another Spanish explorer, Sebastian Vizcaino. Cabrillo’s expedition continued north to Monteray bay before being beaten back by winter storms. Cabrillo decided to take refuge from the winter storms and make repairs to his ships in the Channel Islands. While there, the expedition had a brief skirmish with natives, during which Cabrillo suffered a badly broken leg from a fall. The wound developed gangrene resulting in Cabrillo’s death on January 3, 1543. The expedition, now under the command of Bartolome Ferrer, again headed north and may have reached as far as Oregon before being pushed back by foul weather and rancid provisions, returning to Manzanillo.
In 1913, almost 400 years after Cabrillo first set foot on what is now San Diego, President Woodrow Wilson memorialized him by creating this incredible park and monument. In addition to the monument, this 144 acre park boasts hiking trails, a historic lighthouse, museum, ocean tide-pools, and a truly spectacular 360 degree view.
A sure-fire plan for an amazing San Diego experience is to spend a day at the monument exploring and taking in the jaw-dropping views and history, then meet us at our dock for a Sunset Cruise aboard S/V Lucky Sol. If your hungry after exploring the point stop at Point Loma Seafoods on your way to the dock for some delicious and fresh seafood. This is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. You can even get your food to-go and eat it on the boat. The sailing tour will take you past Ballast Point and Point Loma on your journey into the Pacific Ocean. You’ll observe a variety of shore birds and sea lions along the way. If you’re lucky you may even see a dolphin or the replica of Cabrillo’s San Salvador sailing by. As you sip your wine and watch the sun disappear over the ocean horizon you’ll reflect on the history of this wonderland and appreciate the remarkable day you just spent in America’s Finest City.
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