Day 18 of our expedition, at Homais Cove, on the outside of the Hesquiaht Peninsula: A windy day for me to be shooting a video – just like that day back in 1774 when the Spanish sailors on the ship Santiago, under the captainship of Juan Pérez, became the first Europeans to make contact with the Nuu-chah-nulth inhabitants. That day, the northwesterly was blowing their ship towards the rocks, so the Spaniards were unable to come to shore.
That failure to actually set foot on land ended up being a very important detail. That’s because, four years later, Captain Cook arrived just north of here, at the sheltered bay he named Friendly Cove on Nootka Island, and claimed these lands for Britain. The resulting conflict over ownership led to the Nootka Crisis which, in the 1790s, nearly brought Spain and Britain to war.