Saturday, September 30, 1769

Gaspar de Portolá
The 30th, we proceeded for five hours along the same river; we debated whether it could be the Carmelo.

Miguel Costansó
We proceeded for another three and a half leagues, down-stream, to the northwest and west-northwest. The hills gradually became lower, and, spreading out at the same time, made the canyon wider; at this place, in sight of two low points formed by the hills, it extends for more than three leagues. The soil was of the same quality as that we have mentioned above, treacherous footing, full of fissures that crossed it in all directions, whitish in color, and scant of pasture. From our camp we could hear the sound of the ocean, but we could not see the shore. Therefore, desirous of knowing on what part of the coast we were, and convinced that we could not be very far from the desired port of Monterey, and that the mountain range which we were leaving behind was assuredly that of Santa Lucía, as we inferred from the account written by Father Torquemada, which treats of the expedition and voyage of General Sebastián Vizcaíno, and from the sailing-directions of the pilot Cabrera Bueno our commander resolved that the scouts should set out promptly to explore the coast and the mouth of the river. They returned saying that the river emptied into an estuary which entered the canyon from the sea; that the beach, bordered by sand-dunes, had been seen to the north and south, the coast forming an immense bay; and that, to the south, there was a low hill covered with trees like pines which terminated in a point in the sea. On hearing this news some began to suspect that we might have left behind us the port we were seeking, by reason of the great circuit we had made in passing through the mountain range which we traversed in a northeasterly and northerly direction until we descended to the canyon which permitted us to resume the road along the beach towards the northwest and west-north-west. They added that the Punta de Pinos, which appeared to the south, was a strong indication of it, for it is one of the landmarks given in the sailing directions for the port of Monterey. They also stated that the large bay, about which the scouts gave particulars, was, without doubt, the one that lay between the Punta de Año Nuevo and the above mentioned Punta de Pinos. These reasons somewhat worried all of us, and to these could be added the fact that we were above 36° 30' north latitude; so it was considered a most necessary measure to reconnositer this point before undertaking anything else.

Fray Juan Crespi
We started early in the morning, following the valley down stream, northwest and west-northwest. Little by little the hills are getting lower and lower and drawing farther away, at the same time that the valley widens, for at the camping place and in sight of two low points formed by the hills the valley must be more than three leagues across. The soil is of the same nature as the preceding, although the land is lower and has some fissures into which the animals sink; the soil is whitish and short of pasture on account of the fires set by the heathen. We traveled four leagues and a quarter, and halted in the same valley not far from the river, which here is distant from the coast two and a half leagues. The sea can be heard from the camp, although it cannot yet be seen. The explorers came in this afternoon with the report that this river, which we have been following for days, empties into an estuary which enters the sea through the valley; that the beach can be seen to the north and the south surrounded with sand dunes, and the coast forms an immense bay; and that to the south is seen a ridge which terminates in a point in the sea, and is covered with trees that look like pines. On hearing this information most of us suspected that we had left behind the harbor that we were looking for, because of the great circuit we had made northeast-by-north in order to pass the mountains cutting across our path, until we came down to the valley which permitted us to again take the road along the beach in the direction of the northwest and west-northwest. Another indication of this was the Point of Pines visible to the south, for it is one of the marks of the harbor of Monterey given in the itineraries, making it certain that the great bay described by the explorers was undoubtedly that formed between the Point of Pines and Point Ano Nuevo. These arguments had some force, especially in view of the fact that we were higher up than thirty-six and a half degrees north latitude. For these reasons it was considered indispensable to make a careful examination of the point to the south before going on.