The Endorsement Of Scholars
Across the decades, scholars have commended and affirmed the Guild’s work. What follows are some examples.
From the scholars’ writings:
- Admiral Sir Simon Cassels, KCB CBE, Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel: Mariner’s Mirror (2013)
The weight of evidence stemming from these separate lines of investigation including climatology, astrolabe accuracy, and Chinese ceramics, bears heavily on only one and the same site for careening the Golden Hind: the estuary within what for more than 100 years has been named Drakes Bay.
- Dr. John Sugden, historian: Sir Francis Drake (2006)
There really is only one that comfortably fits the contemporary evidence, ‘a faire and good baye’ in the region of 38° north, with a ‘convenient and fit harborough’, ‘white bancks and cliffes . . . towards the sea’ and ‘islands not far without’. Raymond F. Aker and Edward Von der Porten of the Drake Navigators Guild have recently provided a succinct summary of the historical, archaeological, geographical, anthropological and cartographical research done at this site and it needs no elaboration here. I think it is high time the register of National Historic Landmarks officially recognized Drake’s Estero as the Elizabethan anchorage.
- Michael Turner, explorer, historian, and founder of The Drake Exploration Society of Plymouth, England: Drake’s Wake, Volume 2—The World Voyage (2006)
However, the work of the Drake Navigators Guild has all of the evidence in its favour for advocating Drakes Estero in the lee of Point Reyes at 38° 02; N. All but two of the Drake maps show Drake’s haven to be at 38°.
- Geroge Kuwayama, senior curator emertitus Los Angeles County Museum: Chinese Ceramics In Colonial Mexico (1997)
Archaeological activity at Drake’s Bay was begun in the 1940s with the discovery of many blue-and-white Chinese porcelains. This was followed in the 1960s and 1970s with field studies by archaeologists from San Francisco State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the Drake Navigators Guild. The recovered shards fall into two groups: nonwaterworn shards associated with the Golden Hind and waterworn shards from the San Agustin.
- Dr. Marco Meniketti, San Jose State University archaeologist: Caribbean Historical Archaeology (1997)—caribbeanarchaeology.com
Drake had off-loaded a considerable amount of ceramics during his brief stay in 1579; ceramics pirated from Spanish ships, but Edward Von der Porten convincingly distinguished between Drake era porcelains and Cermeño porcelains by paste, temper, design, and wear patterns. Both are present in native middens but can be easily distinguished.
- N. B. Martin, master mariner and College of the Sequoias historian: Pacific Historical Review (1979)
It is the judgment of the Drake Navigators Guild, and my judgment also, that four centuries ago, in 1579, Francis Drake refreshed and refitted the Golden Hind at the cove just inside the Estero which opens into what has been traditionally, and it now seems appropriately, called Drake’s Bay.
- Chester W. Nimitz, Fleet Admiral, United States Navy: Pacific Discovery (1958)
In summary, the course charted by the Drake Navigators Guild has led to the only site that fully meets all the requirements indicated by the documentary accounts of the voyage.
The following scholars’ conclusions are quoted in the DNG’s book Discovering Francis Drake’s California Harbor (2010) by Ray Aker and Ed Von der Porten:
- Frank G. G. Carr, director of Britain’s National Maritime Museum
I arrived at the firm conclusion, beyond all possibility of doubt in my mind that the Point Reyes/Drake’s Ester site can be positively identified as the Portus Nova Albionis in which Drake refitted his ship. I am convinced that this can now be accepted as a proven fact.
- Rear Admiral Samuel Morison, USNR and Pulitzer Prize winning historian
Drakes Bay is the actual place where he stopped for five or six weeks. I feel perfectly confident of that.
- Captain Alan Villers, maritime historian and captain of the Mayflower II
That red-whiskered little man knew his stuff. I’m for Drake’s Cove. I’ve been there and in S.F. Bay, too . . . I hope the officials have the courage to come right out and accept Drakes Bay.
- Michael Turner
I have seen at least 85 Drake landfalls, anchorages, and inland routes as a result of studying The World Encompassed in the field. I have always found the geographical descriptions to be exact. . . . I find it difficult to understand why there is not universal and unreserved acceptance that Sir Francis careened in Drake’s Estero.
Other advocates and supporters have included:
- Dr. Roger Barnett, geographer from the University of the Pacific
- Rear Admiral C. M. Blackman, British Royal Navy
- Sir Alex Cumming, curator of Buckland Abbey, Drake’s home and museum near Plymouth
- Dr. John Gordon, U. S. Navy officer and historian
- Dr. Barry Gough, Canadian historian and leading scholar of British exploration of Pacific west coast.
- Dr. Michael Mathes, historian from University of San Francisco
- Dr. Claude Minard, geographer from Sonoma State University
- Father Noel Francis Moholy, Franciscan and California historian
- Dr. Michael J. Moratto, archaeologist and cultural resources specialist
- Dr. David A. Mullen, biologist from University of San Francisco
- Dr. Robert T. Orr, Curator of Birds and Mammals at the California Academy of Sciences
- René Péron, anthropologist-archaeologist from Santa Rosa Junior College
- Dr. John A. Pope, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of (Oriental) Art
- Dr. A. L. Rowse, Elizabethan history-scholar
- R. A. Skelton, the British Museum’s senior map scholar
- Dr. Theodore Treutlein, historian from San Francisco State University
- Dr. R. Coke Wood, historian from the University of the Pacific