National Geographic : 1966 May
La Jolla Bay, and we spent a delightful half hour below. The water had an almost magic clarity, and we saw a steady but always changing procession of California marine life, includ ing the spiny lobster. There was a small moray as well, several varieties of crab, and endless species of small fish that hovered around us in schools like clouds of brilliant gnats. Happily, the hammer heads and electric rays were busy elsewhere that day. Electricity Helps Protect Mothball Fleet South of La Jolla, at the U. S. Naval Base on San Diego Bay, man has borrowed a trick from the electric ray. I learned the story while touring the Navy's mothball fleet with Comdr. Derwood Duncan. San Diego has been a seafaring community since discovery of its great natural harbor-and thus of California-in 1542 by Juan Cabrillo, a Portuguese navigator in the employ of Spain. Curiously, California is believed to have earned its name before Juan Cabrillo ever set foot ashore. Around the year 1510, before the conquest of Mexico, a Spanish writer of romantic fiction described an island "on the right hand of the Indies... very near to the Terrestrial Paradise...." Carried away by his vision, the author told of a race of beautiful women, "without any men among them." Their weapons, he said, were entirely of gold, "for in all the island, there is no other metal." The queen was called Calafia, and the writer named his mythical realm California. Nearly a quarter of a century later, so the story runs, Span ish mariners cruising the waters northwest of Mexico sighted the coast of what they fancied to be the golden realm. Word of the discovery spread, and in 1542 when Juan Cabrillo sailed into what today is San Diego Bay, the name California sailed with him. Cabrillo and his men found little if any gold and still less in the way of beautiful women. Centuries later, however, the Spanish writer proved a prophet: California became famous for both. In early times San Diego exported what Californians called "leather dollars"-cured hides that were hauled from the great inland cattle ranches and tumbled down San Diego's cliffs to waiting longboats. Today the leather dollars, together with choice California beef, go east by rail and truck, while San Diego handles more formidable traffic: Many U. S. warships bound for Viet Nam waters clear through San Diego (pages 624-5). One morning I toured half a dozen installations, includ ing the recruit training center, the Naval Air Station on North Island, an underwater demolition unit, and an anti submarine warfare school, all part of the Navy establishment Firework flowers bloom over Disneyland: Sleeping Beauty's castle glows like a mirage as crowds enjoy a sum mer evening. More than six-and-a-half million visitors three-quarters of them adults-revel here at Anaheim every year, a record made possible by California's gentle climate. "Sunshine built California," Walt Disney told the author. "Just about everything else followed it here." 610 KODACHROMEBY THOMAS NEBBIA C N.G.S .