Monday, August 14, 1769
To Ventura (SRL 310, Mission San Buenaventura).
Mission San Buenaventura



Gaspar de Portolá
We proceeded for three hours and came out on the Santa Barbara channel where we found a town of thirty or more houses and about three hundred natives. Immediately upon seeing us they sent out three canoes to fish and made us a present of many fish. These canoes, though narrow, are eight yards in length, well made, and constructed of boards.

Miguel Costansó
We broke camp in the morning, directing our course to the west-southwest for a distance of two leagues. We reached the coast, and came in sight of a real town, the most populous and best arranged of all we had seen up to that time, situated on a tongue or point of land, right on the shore which it was dominating, and it seemed to command the waters. We counted as many as thirty large and capacious houses, spherical in form, well built, and thatched with grass. We judged from the large number of people that came out to meet us, and afterwards flocked to the camp, that there could not be less than four hundred souls in the town. These natives are well built and of a good disposition, very agile and alert, diligent and skillful. Their handiness and ability were at their best in the construction of their canoes made of good pine boards, well joined and calked, and of a pleasing form. They handle these with equal skill, and three or four men go out to sea in them to fish, as they will hold eight or ten men. They use long double-bladed paddles and row with indescribable agility and swiftness. All their work is neat and well finished, but what is most worthy of surprise is that to work the wood and stone they have no other tools than those made of flint; they are ignorant of the use of iron and steel, or know very little of the great utility of these materials, for we saw among them some pieces of knives and sword-blades which they used for no other purpose than to cut meat or open the fish caught in the sea. We saw, and obtained in exchange for strings of glass beads and other trinkets, some baskets or trays made of reeds, with different designs; wooden plates and bowls of different forms and sizes, made of one piece so that not even those turned out in a lathe could be more successful. They presented us with a quantity of fish, particularly the kind known as bonito (this was the season to catch it, judging from the ease with which they took it); it had as good a taste and as delicate a flavor as that caught in the tunny-fisheries of Cartagena de Levante and on the coasts of Granada.

The engineer who accompanied this expedition observed on the beach, the latitude of this town using the English octant; for the meridian altitude of the sun, facing it, he found
the height of the lower limb ... 69°42'
Semi diameter of the sun to be added ... 16'
In consequence of the observer's eye being six to seven feet above sea-level, subtract ... 3'13'
Meridian altitude of the center of the sun ...69°55'
Zenith-distance ... 20°5'
Declination of the sun for the meridian of this place, 106° to 107° west of the Isla del Fierro 14°8'
Latitude of the town ... 34°13'

We thought that this was the town which the first Spanish navigators among others Rodríguez Cabrillo named Pueblo de Canoas. We gave it the name of La Asunción de Nuestra Señora, or La Asumpta, because we reached it on the eve of that festival. We pitched our camp at a short distance from the town on the banks of a river which comes through a narrow gorge from the mountains to the north and carries its waters to the sea. In the afternoon, some of the caciques or chiefs from the mountains came with their people to welcome us. Different islanders of the Canal de Santa Bárbara, who happened to be in the Pueblo de la Asumpta, also came to visit us.

Fray Juan Crespi
At seven in the morning we left the camp accompanied by three heathen who came to show us the next watering place. We followed the plain to the west-southwest, and after traveling about two hours and a half we arrived at the shore, where we saw a regular town, the most populous and best laid-out of all that we had seen on the journey up to the present time. It is situated on a tongue or point of land running out on the same beach which stands so high that it seems to dominate the waters. We counted about thirty large and spacious houses of a spherical form, well constructed and roofed with grass. According to the number of people whom we saw and who came down to the camp, there were not less than four hundred souls. They are of good figure and disposition, active, industrious, and inventive. They have surprising skill and ability in the construction of their canoes, which are made of good pine planks, well joined and of a graceful shape, with two prows. They handle them with equal skill; three or four men go out into the open sea in them to fish, and they hold as many as ten men. They use long oars with two blades and row with indescribable lightness and speed. All the things which they make are neat and well finished; and the most surprising thing is that they have no other tools for working the wood and stone than those made of flint, for they are ignorant of the use of iron and steel. Yet we saw among them some pieces of knives and sword blades, which they use for nothing but to cut meat and open the fish that they take from the sea. The soldiers traded beads with them in exchange for baskets, pebbles, and wooden plates which would not be more graceful if they were turned with a wheel. They gave us a lot of fish, especially very savory bonito. Judging by the great abundance of it and the ease with which it was caught, this must be the season for it. A short distance from the town we pitched camp near the bank of a river, the waters of which come in a deep bed from the mountains and reach the sea. To the north it runs through a valley which has good lands, so that they make good use of the abundance of water. In the afternoon some chiefs came from the mountains, having come from their country purposely to see us. Some islanders from the Santa Barbara Channel, who happened to be in this town, came also, and they told us that twelve canoes had gone to the islands to bring from there the people who wished to see us. I called this town La Asuncion de Nuestra Senora, and I hope that such a fine site, where nothing is lacking, will become a good mission through the intercession of this great lady. I observed the latitude and it came out for me thirty-four degrees and thirty-six minutes and for Senor Costanso thirty-four degrees and thirteen minutes.

August 13 To or near Saticoy.
August 15 To or near Pitas Point.