On June 17, 1579, Captain Francis Drake sailed his ship, Golden Hinde, into the Gulf of the Farallones and the bay that now bears his name. He sighted these white cliffs and named the land Nova Albion.
During his 36 day encampment in California, Drake repaired his ship, established contact with local Indians, explored inland, took on supplies and water, and claimed the region for Queen Elizabeth I.
The Golden Hinde set sail on July 25 and ventured into the unknown Pacific. Reaching Plymouth, England on September 26, 1560, after a voyage of two years and nine months, Drake became the first Englishman and expedition commander to circumnavigate the earth.
Drake's exploits and claim encouraged England to colonize Roanoke in 1585, and Jamestown in 1607. Captain John Smith, in 1616, named the east coast New England, a reflection of Drake's Nova Albion.