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OLD WHALERS AT MONTEREY

O

BITS OF ALTA CALIFORNIA

BY FLORENCE E. WINSLOW
N the shores of the Magic Island” the Aleutian Isles, which deflect it from

of Catalina, twenty miles west of its course, turning its warming waters

the port San Pedro, the traveler westward and leaving the northern coasts may find sure rest, and peace settles into cold and fog wrapped. By Point Concepthe soul that lingers long among its moun- tion the ocean waters are again deflected, tains. It is the second in size and quite and the warm return current from the the most interesting in construction of south rushes between the channel islands those islands of the Pacific that form the and the mainland. In these favored waters Coronado group. These extend along the the temperature is so equable that the viscoast of California from below San Diego itor may bathe every day in the year. To a to Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, off Santa height of three thousand feet the mounBarbara. Shut off from the cold current tains rise abruptly from the sea, forming deflected across from the Aleutian Isles for the most part a solid front of perpenagainst the coast of San Francisco and Ore dicular rock. They are visible every gon by Point Conception, the Magic Isle where from the mainland of Los Angeles floats in blue waters, a series of rising high- County. If the channel islands are a seclands. The temperature of the waves, tion of the coast range, they formed orig.' only 66° in August, varies but four degrees inally part of a long peninsula extending throughout the year, while on the shores of from Conception to Coronado, and this the Atlantic a variation of from 35° to has no doubt been gradually broken 40° is probable. The great Japanese cur- through by nature's forces. rent, the Kuro Siwa, sweeps its torrent The channel is entirely protected from broadly across the ocean from the coast the winds and waves of the Pacific by the of Asia, in a channel from three hundred islands, and was, as early as the times of to four hundred miles wide, until it strikes the first Spanish voyagers, navigated by

the Pineugnas Indians--men of great of nature lying here protected by the sea height and fine physique, who are de. from the ravages of man. If tired of the scribed as gentle and courteous for all balmy sunshine, the inviting heights urge their prowess and their seven feet of the climber toward the open ocean on the altitude. In the times of the padres west side of the island, but it will be long large numbers of them, skilled in ship before he reaches, scaling hill beyond hill, building and living mainly by fishing, the bluffs above the Pacific and sees dwelt happily in Catalina. The single the ocean dashing at the foot of cliffs hotel rests over an ancient Indian burying which rise abruptly from their bases two ground, and the place is rich in historic thousand feet toward the sky. Here are remains, mortars, pestles, shells strung for the homes of great eagles, measuring, use as money-relics of the gentle race some of them, twelve feet from wing to whose home was this island. Avalon, the wing, and of wild goats, the descendants tiny village, nestles in a vale beautiful as of those left on the islands by Vancouver, that famed in Arthurian ballad. It lies now numbered by thousands. These are close to the curved beach of one of the hunted on horseback. Their normal life little coves which break the abrupt and is ideal, for they have water in plenty, rocky shores, and has a picturesque har- large freedom of range, and abundant food bor. It is the only settled point on the amid the fresh, dewy grasses of the hills. isle, and, besides the hotel, has only a few The wild sheep and goats on the neighstores and a number of cottages which are boring island of San Clemente fare less rented at low rates. Behind the hotel bravely, for food is scantier, and they have rise hills clothed with a peculiarly fine no water save the moisture of the dew. velvety grass, and here are golf links pic- A stage drive around the island opens turesquely placed. Buried far below the views of mountain and of sea of rare modern teeing-grounds lie the relics left scenic value and beauty, the grim nature by the race so entirely passed away. Hills of the rocky vistas on the ocean side con. rise abruptly beyond, and up the side trasting sharply with the sheltered beaches cañons flowers bloom in bewildering and balmy air of the channel ; but it is on variety, while humming-birds hover above the latter that the true luxury of existence them looking like animated reproductions is realized. Hours may be spent drifting of the Mariposa lilies, those fascinating in glass-bottomed boats over the vast saltbutterflies of the floral kingdom, whose water aquariums, whose submarine garacquaintance one may make here on the dens, seen clearly at a depth of from fifty Catalina hillside with a freedom seldom to seventy feet, gleam with the green, enjoyed on the mainland. Further up the purple, and yellow of kelp anemone and tiny cañons are maidenhair ferns, while seaweed, with glittering shells and filmy quail, abounding everywhere, run fear- jellyfish shining through. lessly down almost to the doors of the The great amusement is fishing, and cottages. The hills rise in an amphi- the size and variety of the fish are wondertheater about Avalon, and so abrupt are ful. The famous barracuda, immortalized they, and so clear the water of the ocean, by Kipling in his “Deep Sea Chantey," that from a great height one may look the yellowtail, whitefish, mackerel, and deeply into the clear waters and see large a brilliant red fish, far larger and more fish swimming.

beautiful than the goldfish, are all good If the claim is true that California eating, and Aying-fish skim the waters boasts, roughly speaking, of six climates, everywhere. There are no fish stories Santa Catalina is within the range of the told here, for reality beggars the imaginabest of them. The temperature never tion of the most experienced fisherman, rises above 85° or falls far below 65o. and great twenty and thirty pound monThere are no enveloping fog, no scorching sters are daily landed by anglers, with winds, and no dust. The air is actually respectful admiration, and a rare and drier than on the mainland. The island, beautiful absence of boastfulness. Pelitwenty-three miles long by seven wide, can and seal are the chief enemies of the sometimes narrowing to one mile, lies fish. A circle of seal will sometimes bathed in sunshine, clothed with flowers make a drive inshore and devour hunand rare shrubs, a bit of the eternal beauty dreds at a meal, and the great fish will

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be seen leaping from the bay seeking short fins, inadequate to the rock-climbing escape.

to which their inner aspirations constantly The seal rocks at the southern extrem- incline them, carry the great bulks with ity of the island are best seen from a row- wonderful celerity through the dangers of boat; a close approach is possible, and surf and rock to the open water, where the monsters may be viewed in all their they swim gracefully about. ugliness on the rocks, or in the suddenly At the northern end of Catalina the acquired grace which is theirs when their mountains break abruptly into a narrow isthmus, a half-mile wide; and here are Serra, Curci, Palou, and their like who ruins of government barracks built during beat the sword of the Spaniard into the the Civil War, facing on one side the quiet plowshare of the training-school. It was sound, on the oth r the roaring breakers these wise priests of the missions of of the ocean.

Alta California who used the life-giving Father Palou, in his memoirs, describes waters of the land, not alone to mark the the thousands of Indians who lived in Indian in baptism as the child of God, this and the neighboring islands when the but to bless him in his obedience to natFranciscans began their

ural as to divine law, to work of Christianization,

make his desert blosand the insistent modern

som, to provide vast syslife of the country gives

tems of irrigation, to fill place in thought to the

his hills with cattle, his past, as one considers

vineyards with grapes, these tall, gentle savages

and his fields with bread. now so entirely vanished

To take the native, unfrom their ancient homes.

civilized, but gentle CaliOn the mainland this

fornia Indian and train delicate mingling of old

him in the arts of domeswith new in the life of

tic life, to teach him California appeals most

agriculture and cattleof all to that traveler

raising, masonry, blackwho, leaving the beaten

smithing, weaving, and tourist track, lingers long

a thousand useful trades, among the ruins of mis

was no less an achievesion and presidio, giv

ment than to elevate his ing to their history such

family life, develop his appreciative study and

mental power, and bring love as call forth from

his spiritual nature into the brown old piles the

the environment of the treasures of sentiment

Gospel of Christ. Truly and devotion which they

wonderful results were conceal. What is to the

attained from small becasual tourist but a pile

ginnings. Two priests, of tumbling wall and

with a few protecting irregular arch, gradually

soldiers,

some cattle, sinking into barren plain

seeds, and tools, went to or ocean sand, becomes

a new location; a cross to the enthusiast instinct

was set up, a booth was with life and spiritual

built of branches, bells force, rising grandly un

were hung on a neightil the vivid blue arc

boring tree, a grand camof the western sky can

panile of the forest, and scarce subtend all that

the whole was consethe ruins have to tell of

crated. When mass had sublime courage and

been said, the neighborwise devotion. These

A FISHING PARTY

ing Indians were gathercloistered arches, which

ed, and a few presents measure perhaps no two alike, were made made. A few years, and, lo! the mission, of mud by brown Indians, but the adobe with arch and cloister, and clustered homes brick and the graceful outline of the ruins and schools, and ordered services, and have a spiritual history.

choirs of Indian youth! The converts The story of the missions has done engaged in useful trades, herding thoumuch to wipe out in the New World the sands of cattle, gathering mighty harvests, reproach of a Spanish evangelization which famous as the producers of the best wine often carried the sword in one hand, and flour and oil of the world, architects, the baptismal chrism in the other. It was artisans, agriculturists, and Christians.

GOAT ISLAND, IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY

The California missions owed much to of laboring among the Indians on the the Saint of Assisi, that most unselfish western shores of the New World. In founder of an order the self-renunciation 1767, by the suppression of the Jesuits, of whose members startled even the dev- their missions in Lower California passed otees of those ages of consecration. One into the hands of the Dominicans and of the most devoted missionaries of the Franciscans. Serra was at once ap Franciscan Order was Padre Junipero pointed superintendent of the missions of Serra, the superintendent and founder of all California. It was no part of his purthe Indian Missions. Born in the island pose to linger among missionis already of Majorca, Serra sang as a boy in the established. An old portrait of Serra Convent of San Bernardino, but entered existing in the College of San Fernando, the Franciscan Order at sixteen, taking in the City of Mexico, shows a delicately his final vow in 1730, at the age of eight sensitive face of great spirituality and een. His passionate desire for a mission- tenderness, filled with yearning sadness ary life was shared by three of his fellow- and pathos, yet strong and radiant with students, Palou, Verger, and Crespi. These indomitable courage and fiery faith. He four young monks, receiving in 1749 per- was fifty-six years old when he set out mission to join a body of missionary ex- with his band of sixteen followers, among plorers who were to sail from Cadiz, set whom were his friends Crespi and Palou, forth with great rejoicing for Mexico, on his new quest for souls. So rejoiced under the inspiring motto, Unus non suff- was he at this new prospect of sacrifice cit orbis. It was only after nineteen years and of service that he was “ unable to of missionary service and training in speak a single word for tears." There Mexico that circumstances, and his supe- were two land and two sea parties in the rior officers of the College of San Fer- expedition, and Serra's division, after two nando, allowed Serra, the man of quench- months of journeying over cactus plain less purpose, to fulfill his lifelong desire and rocky mountain, rejoined the others

THE HEAVY SURF AT “THE ROCKS"

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