Wednesday, October 4, 1769
Day four at the Salinas River, near Blanco.



Gaspar de Portolá
Considering that the time we have been on the road has not only been sufficient but longer than necessary to reach that destination; and considering that, according to the indications which Cabrera Bueno gives in his account, it was inevitable that we should find it; now having examined the country, expecting every moment to come upon the port, we have only found, as Captain Fernando de Rivera who went to explore declares, that what should be the Carmelo River is merely a gully, and that what should be a port is a small inlet, that what were described as great lakes are mere ponds, and that what should be a port is only a bay; I am, therefore, now disturbed in the hope of finding the port, seeing so great a stretch of level ground as lies before us, and considering that if we are to believe the account of Cabrera Bueno in order to reach the port it is necessary that we first come to the Sierra de Santa Lueia, a journey for which, I recognise, much time is required, I have decided to hold a council with all my fellow officers that we may determine what is best for the service of their Majesties, and most consistent with our honor. I have also requested Fathers Gomez and Crespi to be good enough to attend this council.
I call your attention to the fact that we find ourselves today with eleven soldiers sick with the scurvy of whom eight are disabled and that the season of the year will naturally produce greater effects of this sort. The provisions are reduced to fifty sacks of flour, twelve packs of meat, and four of vegetables. I give this information in order . . . that with all the details before us we may be able to consult with greater intelligence. May God preserve you many happy years.

October 4, 1769, 1769

Your affectionate and devoted servant, Gaspar de Portola.
Let us all subscribe our opinions one after another; and, if they so desire, the reverend fathers may do the same.
Addressed to the reverend fathers, Father Gomez and Father Crespi; Captain Fernando de Rivera; Captain Pedro Fages; Don Miguel Costanso.

Opinion of Don Miguel Costanso in response to the letter written by the commander of the expedition he makes the following statement: In consideration of the fact that we have not come upon the Port of Monterey as we all had expected to find it after crossing a mountain range which we firmly believed to be that of Santa Lucia, at the foot of which the port must be, according to the old accounts this officer thinks that it is necessary to seek for the Port of Monterey farther on. At present, he thinks, they are in 36° 42' north latitude. The Port of Monterey is said to be in latitude 37°, and it may be even higher. On this account it would be well to explore the coast as far north as latitude 37° 30', and he hopes that by means of this endeavor they will either find the port, or be morally justified in asserting that it no longer exists.
Miguel Costanso.

The vote of Don Pedro Fages in response to the letter of the commander of the expedition, I say that, as there is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the Port of Monterey lies behind us according to . . . Captain Fernando de Rivera y Moncada has explored, and that it does not lie in latitude 37°, according to the statement of Don Miguel Costanso, in my opinion the coast should be explored as far as 37° 30', and a little farther if possible, in order to reach the port and, if we do not find it, to establish ourselves in whatever place seems most convenient to the other gentlemen.
Pedro Fages.

Opinion of Captain Fernando de Rivera y Moncada in response to the letter of the commander. He thinks they should devote four, six or eight days to rest as much for the sake of the sick as that it was absolutely necessary for the saddle-mules and that they then continue the journey in the same way as they had done heretofore. It was not his opinion that the camp should be continued here and that a party should go out to explore for a considerable distance, inasmuch as to do this he considered it necessary that the party should be sufficiently large to resist the natives in case of any danger, and as, on account of the small number of men, it was not possible to guard the camp, the mule-train, and the exploring party all at the same time. This is his opinion, he says after having crossed a very high range of mountains which forced them to abandon the shore and the direction they were following; and after having reached the place here they find themselves; and after having explored and taken this range to be the Sierra de Santa Lucia; and having seen a point of pines, well wooded clear to the sea. He saw near the high range a gully with a moderate amount of running water; from this place it was probably a league and a half or two leagues to the point of pines, beyond which point there is only a bay which is quite exposed. From this he infers that the . . . places, suffer from a certain ambiguity, and that they had come far enough in search of the port when they had reached this point of pines as from this they could get a distant view. This argument is presented in case we were to establish ourselves in some place, which, however, he did not consider advisable.
Fernando de Rivera y Moncada.

Having heard and considered attentively all the opinions of the officers who are with me on this expedition, it is my vote that the expedition rest in this place for a period of six days, and that it should continue its march in quest of the Port of Monterey as far as is humanly possible. In this case, a place will be selected to establish ourselves as well as possible, and no long excursion will be undertaken inasmuch as in the going and coming much time would be lost.
Gaspar de Portola.

Conclusion of the council held on this date.
Vote of Don Miguel Costanso. He concurs in that, at the expiration of six days, the whole expedition set out together. Miguel Costanso.
Vote of Don Pedro Fage. He concurs in that, at the expiration of six days, the whole expedition set out together, Pedro Fages.
Vote of Don Fernando de Rivera y Moncada, second in command of the expedition. He agrees that the expedition rest for a period of six days. Fernando de Rivera y Moncada.
Decision of the commander of the expedition. He votes and concurs with the others, in that the expedition continue its march at the end of six days. Gaspar de Portola.
Vote of Father Gomez. He agrees that the expedition set out at the end of six days. Father Francisco Gomez.
Vote of Father Crespi. He says that he agrees in the words of the decision of the council. Father Juan Crespi.

Miguel Costansó Diary
Our commander, somewhat confused by these reports, determined to call a meeting of his officers to consider what action was most suitable in the present exigency. He drew attention to the scarcity of provisions that confronted us; to the large number of sick we had among us (there were seventeen men half-crippled and unfit for work); to the season, already far advanced; and to the great sufferings of the men who remained well, on account of the unlimited work required in looking after the horses, and watching them at night, in guarding the camp, and in the continual excursions for exploration and reconnoissance. The meeting was held after we had heard the mass of the Holy Ghost, and all the officers voted unanimously that the journey be continued, as this was the only course that remained, for we hoped to find through the grace of God the much desired port of Monterey, and in it the packet San Joseph which would relieve our needs; and, if God willed that in the search for Monterey we should all perish, we would have performed our duty towards God and man, laboring together until death for the success of the undertaking upon which we had been sent.

Fray Juan Crespi Diary
A great day for all the sons of our seraphic father San Francisco, whose festival we, his two sons, celebrated in this New World, or corner of the Old World, without any church or choir but the wilderness. We constructed an arbor in which to celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which we both said with all possible devotion, begging the Holy Ghost, by making our seraphic father intercessor, to give light to these men so that they might decide what is best to be done for the greater honor and glory of our king. The Mass concluded, the commander summoned the officers. When they had assembled in the name of God, he told them about the shortage of provisions in which we found ourselves, and the number of sick on hand (there were seventeen men who were half crippled and of no use for labor); he called attention to the fact that the season was now far advanced, and to the great hardships of the men still in good health from the excessive labor in watching the animals at night, in guarding the camp, and in the constant sallies to explore and reconnoiter. In view of this and of the fact that we had not found the harbor of Monterey in the latitude where we had supposed it to be, he asked each one to give his opinion freely, in order to decide upon the best course to pursue. Having heard the commander's proposal, the officers voted unanimously to continue the journey, as it seemed to be the only thing to do, in the hope of finding, through the favor of God, the desired harbor of Monterey, and in it the packet San Jose, which would relieve the suffering. And if it should be God's will that we should all perish in looking for Monterey, we should have done our duty to God and to all men by cooperating unto death to bring success to the undertaking that we had been commanded to carry out. All were resigned to this decision and in the mind to continue. We two friars also took part in this council and gave the same vote; and we endeavored to encourage all the rest and to convince them that the help of God would not be lacking to us, since the undertaking was directed to His greater honor and to His desired conversion of all souls.


October 3 Day three at the Salinas River, near Blanco.
October 5 Day five at the Salinas River, near Blanco.