La Favorita Lecture

Thursday May 16, 2013 – Thursday May 16, 2013

113 Harbor Way, Suite 190

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Where: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, California

What: Spanish Period (1769-1821) settling California and the need for shipping supplies along the coast.

When: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7 pm

Members only Reception at 6:15 pm

Cost: Free (members), $5 (non-members).

Register Below or call (805) 962-8404 x115
(please register for tickets early to guarantee admittance)


Spanish California was lonely and isolated from the rest of the world. To protect its claim on Alta California (or present-day California), the Spanish government built presidios (military posts), missions (church communities), and pueblos (towns) along the coast. These settlements were highly dependent on outside goods. Both the Santa Barbara Presidio (1782) and Mission (1786) received supplies from official government ships that came from the Spanish Naval Department at San Blas, Mexico. La Favorita was one of those ships bringing food, tools, weapons, clothing, cooking utensils, furniture, and ceramics.

Alan Kemp will provide an overview of supplying California with a focus on the early seaborne encounters between the Chumash and Spanish in the Santa Barbara Channel.  Particular attention will be paid to La Favorita, and Jerry Blair’s model of her on exhibit at the museum.

At the time of his retirement in 2004, Alan Kemp was Chief Engineer on U.S. Navy missile propulsion programs for Pratt & Whitney’s Space Propulsion Operations. During the early 1980s he directed engineering consulting services and managed software applications for shipbuilding and marine structures at Control Data Corporation’s Cybernet Services.

Alan now applies his engineering and research skills to reconstructing the sailing vessels and analyzing the maritime operations associated with Hispanic Alta California and the Pacific Northwest Coast. He is a frequent lecturer on maritime topics for the California Mission Studies Association, the Anza Society, California State University Monterey Bay, San Jose State University, California State Parks and numerous central California civic groups. Associations include the California Mission Studies Association, Anza Society, Nautical Research Guild, North American Society of Oceanic History, Captain Cook Society, and Canadian Nautical Research Society.

An avid sailor who has crewed on square-rigged ships and schooners, Alan has a longstanding interest in maritime history and marine illustration. A recent member of the Board of Directors for Monterey History and Art Association and former Research Librarian at the Maritime Museum of Monterey, he is currently a consulting curator for the Museum of Monterey for maritime exhibits. He is also a volunteer docent for California State Parks at the San Juan Bautista Mission Plaza and at the Point Sur Lightstation.