Whale Cove (Oregon)


Whale Cove (Oregon)

Whale Cove is a small cove, approximately one-third of a mile (0.5 km) in diameter, located on the Pacific Coast of Oregon in the United States, approximately 2 mi (3 km) south of the city of Depoe Bay. The cove is located at approximately 44 deg 44 min N latitude.

A portion of the cove is protected as part of Rocky Creek State Park.

In 1978, British amateur historian Bob Ward proposed that Whale Cove was the location where Francis Drake spent the summer of 1579 during his circumnavigation of the globe by sea. The exact location of Drake's landing spot, at which he claimed a portion of the west coast of North America as "New Albion", has long been a mystery. It is usually assumed to be in northern California on the coast of Marin County.

Ward proposed Whale Cove as the actual spot of Drake's landing based on its similarity to a 16th century map made by Jodocus Hondius. Ward theorized that Drake may have conspired with Queen Elizabeth I to mislead the Spanish about the true location of the cove to keep the Spanish from discovering Puget Sound, which Ward believes that Drake thought was the Northwest Passage.

One longstanding puzzling feature of the Hondius map is the small island on the peninsula protecting the cove. According to Ward, a portion of the peninsula protecting Whale Cove is submerged at high tide creating a similar island.

Further reading

*Samuel Bawlf, "The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake", Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-200459-6


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