Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GALI, Francisco, Spanish navigator, born in Seville in 1539; died in the City of Mexico in 1591. The want of a port on the coast of California, where ships arriving from the Philippines could revictual, had long been felt. In 1585 Pedro Moya de Contreras, archbishop of Mexico and provisional viceroy of New Spain, fitted out two frigates at Acapulco, and gave the command to Gali, enjoining him not only to select a place for a port, but to examine the whole coast of North America, which some believed to extend to China, while others thought it was separated by the Strait of Anian. Gali, who had sailed as far as Japan, gives the following reasons for believing that there was a strait: "When we were 300 leagues northeast of Japan, we found a very deep sea with a current coming from the north "and northwest; the waves were long and high; from whatever side the wind blew, the current and the waves always followed the same direction. In this way we sailed 700 leagues; it was only when we were within 200 leagues of the coast of Mexico that we no longer felt this sea and current, and this fact makes me think that a channel or strait will be found between the continent of New Spain and the countries of Asia and Tartary. Moreover, we met in this interval of 700 leagues a large number of whales, besides bonitos and other such fish as are always found in the Straits of Gibraltar; for they prefer opening their way through quarters where there are strong currents; this confirms me still more in the opinion that there is a strait." Gali, after visiting the Ladrones, Manila, Macao, and the Liu-Kiu islands, sailed eastward, and on 14 October, landed on the coast of America at 37° 30' north latitude. He saw a high land well wooded and totally free from snow; then, on his route to Acapulco, he saw fires along the coast during the night, and smoke in the daytime, from which he concluded that all this country was inhabited. On his return, he found that the archbishop was no longer in office, and the project of founding a port on the coast of California was abandoned. The relation of Oali, written in Spanish, was sent to the viceroy of the Indies; it fell into the hands of Linschot, who translated it into Dutch and inserted it in his work on the "Track Charts of the Indies" (Amsterdam, 1596). Hackluyt has a translation in his collection, and there is also a French translation from Linsehot (Amsterdam, 1610). In all these works Gali is called Gualle. There is also a Spanish translation taken from the French version (Madrid, 1802). Gali intended to give a fuller account of his voyage, and some think that he did write a larger work, which has been lost; there are fragments of it in the national library of Mexico, under the title:" Viaje, descubrimientos y observaciones de Acapulco a Filipinas y desde alli a Macao y por la costa de Nipdn a la Nueva Espafia." The narrative in existence proves him an experienced navigator and a talented observer. He had on board his vessel a skilful astronomer, Juan Jayme, who used an instrument of his own invention for finding the variation of the needle.
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