A First-Time Feeling of Belonging

by Heather Varner I participated in the Two Weeks Before the Mast program back in August of 2009. Before the program, I was shy and kind of a loner, but being on the Hawaiian Chieftain really brought me out of my shell. for the first time in years, I felt like I...

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American Explorers: Charles Wilkes

In the early years of the 19th century, the young United States developed a self-image as a continental power with interests that stretched to North America's west coast. After the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition, the most important expression of the US's...

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English Explorers: George Vancouver

Of all the early European explorers of the west coast, few have had the long-term impact of Capt. George Vancouver. His expedition of 1791-95 in the ships HMS Discovery and HMS Chatham left an indelible mark on the maritime history of the region. For example, many of...

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Spanish Explorers: Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra

The influence of the Kingdom of Spain on the northwest coast of North America reached its zenith in the late 18th century. Competition with Great Britain and Russia forced Spain to confirm its claims, and the crown sent several expeditions to formalize its control....

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Spanish Explorers: Bruno de Heceta

In 1775, pressure by British and Russian explorers put greater strain on Spain's historic claims on the west coast going back to the late 15th century. To strengthen its claims, Spain mounted a series of expeditions from its bases in Mexico to “Nueva Galicia,” its...

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Spanish Explorers: Juan Perez

In the last quarter of the 18th century, Spain, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States struggled for predominance on the west coast of North America. A common method for claiming territory was the exploratory expedition. In 1774-1775, the Spanish sent a naval...

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