Rodriguez Cabrillo was the first known explorer of the California
coast. Around 1519, he fought for the conquest of Mexico
with the famous conquistador Hernan Cortes. By 1542, Cabrillo
was exploring the California coast under the Spanish flag,
hoping to find wealthy cities or Cibola. He reached San
Diego bay, on September 28, 1542, naming it "San Miguel".
Within a few days, Cabillo departed San Diego to explore
the uncharted coast line of California. While he died unexpectedly
on January 3, 1543, his chief
pilot, Bartolomé Ferrelo, continued the trip northward
and reached the Mendocino coast.