The Pelican Inn

Sir Francis Drake was an English sea captain of the Elizabethan era.

After docking in Table Bay, he declared that (Cape Town) was the “fairest Cape in all the world.”

I would have to agree, but of course I’m biased having spent a great deal of my youth in that fair city.

Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation.

With his incursion into the Pacific he inaugurated an era of privateering and piracy on the western coasts of the Americas—an area that had previously been free of piracy.

Drake commissioned his ship in Plymouth. It is described as a mid 16th century warship during the transition from the carrack to the galleon.  He first named his flagship the Pelican, but renamed it the Golden Hind on 20 August 1578 to honor his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton, whose family crest was a golden hind (a female red deer).

He set sail in December 1577 with five small ships, manned by 164 men, and reached the Brazilian coast in early 1578.

On 1 March 1579, now in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Ecuador, Golden Hind challenged and captured the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Concepción. This galleon had the largest treasure captured to that date. 

On 26 September 1580, Francis Drake sailed his ship into Plymouth Harbour with only 56 of his original crew of 80 left aboard, the ship was unloaded at Saltash Castle nearby where the treasure offloading was supervised by Queen Elizabeth’s guards.

The Pelican Inn at Muir Beach imagines a different scenario; the Pelican beached on Muir Beach. Drake does not return to England, but instead settles here, in California and builds an Inn in the Tudor style.

I woke up here this morning after a magical day and evening filled with synchronicity and chance meetings with remarkable people, including a woman from Cape Town.

The hip and very lovely staff tell me this is not unusual here, in this sweet and secluded cove beside the woods named for John Muir, (the Californian also known as John of the Mountains), an American naturalist, author, environmentalist and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States.

Yesterday my friend Toni Leigh and I walked a trail through the woods to the beach, where I ran along the water line as the waves lapped around my ankles and the tide slowly receded. We’ve  just had breakfast and are gong right back, but stopping at the Zen Center (Green Mulch) to pay tribute to Bob Watkins who will have his Memorial at Hikoji in Taos, tomorrow.

For more about the Pelican Inn see their link below and I’ll see you all on Monday.

pelican inn

Photo’s taken on my iphone.

Bottom pic stock file.