In 1577, Elizabeth I of England chose Francis Drake to lead an expedition intended to pass around South America through the Strait of Magellan and to explore the coast that lay beyond. He set sail in December 1577 with five small ships including his flagship, the renamed Golden Hinde. On March 1st 1579, in the Pacific Ocean and off the coast of Ecuador, the Golden Hinde captured the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and with it the largest treasure captured to date: over 360,000 Pesos, or six tons of treasure. According to scholars, on June 17th 1579 Francis Drake landed what is now called Drake’s Beach at Point Reyes to careen and refit his vessels. It is unfortunate this commemoration is in such a remote part of the beach. On his return to Queen Elizabeth I bestowed his knighthood on him and he became Sir Francis Drake.
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From Point Reyes