25 August 2010

California Quotes: A Sort of Aquatic Temple-bar

"Opposite the Bay of Sausolito [sic], in a north-easterly direction, lies the island of De los Angelos, much the largest in the Bay of San Francisco. Its shores are bold around, but on the south and west rise abruptly to a giddy height. It is covered with fine pasture, possesses good water, and a sufficiency of firewood; but as yet has not tempted a wooer to its angelic embrace. Were I to remain in California, I should choose it as my head-quarters, for, over and above the properties I have mentioned, its picturesque situation is pre-eminently attractive, reposing under the shelter of the coast range, and commanding a most expansive view of the bay; from its south-east cliffs you see through the gullet of the harbour the undulating bosom of the broad Pacific; immediately opposite, the more elevated terraces of the city sweetly challenges the view; and beyond its jutting extremes the southern portion of the bay stretches beyond the limits of vision, to receive the waters of the Santa Clara, on which stands the embarcadero of the capital of San Jose'; while towards the northward is discernible the great entrance to the Strait of Carquines, with the city of Benicio [sic] on its shores--a sort of aquatic Temple-bar, where vessels, boats, and barges are jostling agains each other as they pass and repass in crowded throngs through this narrow thoroughfare."

From: An Excursion to California, Volume II, 1851, p. 266. Photo by Telstar Logistics, available via Creative Commons for non-commercial usage.

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