“Whale Cove: Birthplace of the British Empire.”
Story provided by Bob Ward
Over the next several weeks, Bob Ward, Founder of the Drake in Oregon Society, will be giving a series of presentations demonstrating that Whale Cove, just south of Depoe Bay is the birthplace and first outpost of the British Empire, and one of the most important historic sites in North America.
The first will be at the Depoe Bay Community Center, starting Sunday, February 9 at 2:00 pm, then at the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, Lincoln City, on Saturday February 22 at 1:00 pm, and finally at the Pacific Maritime Center on the Newport Bay Front on Sunday March 9 at 5:00 pm.
Francis Drake, the English explorer and privateer, spent the summer of 1579 at an anchorage somewhere on the American West Coast, during the course of his famous voyage around the world. While there, he claimed the land for England, naming it ‘New Albion’, and placed the local people under the protection of his Queen, Elizabeth I. This was the very first instance of an English Colony or Protectorate being established on foreign shores, so wherever it took place is the birthplace and first outpost of what was to become the British Empire.
A great veil of secrecy was erected around the voyage when Drake got back to England, and when an official account of the voyage was eventually released, almost ten years later, it placed Drake’s anchorage at 38 degrees latitude, in the region of San Francisco.
In this presentation, Bob Ward, who has been examining Drake’s voyage for over 30 years, presents evidence that the official account was deliberately falsified in several places, to keep secret from arch-rivals Spain Drake’s search for the Pacific entrance to the fabled Northwest Passage, and that Drake actually spent that summer at Whale Cove, just south of Depoe Bay, here in Lincoln County.
Bob also reveals plans to excavate, hopefully this summer, what he thinks may be a small Spanish ship that Drake captured off Costa Rica and left behind, along with about 25 members of his crew, when he returned to England. They were to resume the exploration of the fabled Passage after wintering on the Oregon coast, but never managed to leave Oregon. Bob explains how the wreck of the ship came to be buried beneath a tidal mud flat at Three Rocks, near the mouth of the Salmon River.