Cortes Bank is an island which is located off the coast of California which is well worth reading about as there have been several shipwrecks next to Cortes Bank as well as a publicized treasure hunt. To discover a few fun facts about Cortes Bank and its history, simply continue reading.
It was originally charted on maps as San Juan Island:
Historically Cortes Bank was charted on maps as San Juan Island.
It is a shallow sea mount:
If you’re not sure what a shallow sea mount is, a shallow sea mount is a barely submerged island. Although at various points of history, Cortes Bank was less submerged by water and was more of a traditional island.
Bishop Rock Cortes Bank:
Today there is a buoy that warns seafarers about the location of Bishop Rock, in order to avoid collisions with the rock. If you’re curious about how the rock got its name, it was named after the Stillwell S. Bishop which was a ship that crashed into the infamous rock back in 1855. Luckily the crew of the Stillwell S. Bishop was able to mend their ship in order to continue sailing on to San Fransisco in California.
A widespread treasure hunt took place on Cortes Bank:
In 1957, a treasure hunt led by Mel Fisher took place on Cortes Bank. As Fisher was certain that there was a wreck of a lost Spanish galleon lying on the seafloor, close to Bishop Rock. The treasure hunt was unsuccessful much to the disappointment of Mel Fisher and his supporters.
In 1966 two entrepreneurs tried to turn the island into a constitutional monarchy:
In 1966 two creative entrepreneurs tried to turn Cortes Bank into their own constitutional monarchy, which they planned to name Abalonia. However, the duo’s dream of running their own constitutional monarchy on Cortes Bank, ultimately never eventuated.
Historically surfers would try to surf off Bishop’s Rock:
Tragically many surfers almost lost their lives trying to surf next to Bishop’s Rock. As an example, in 1973 a world famous surfer Ilima Kalama who was the father of professional surfer Dave Kalama almost lost his life in a fishing boat next to Bishop’s Rock. As he tried to use his fishing boat to get close to the rock to go surfing.
Today surfers still try to surf off Bishop’s Rock despite the obvious dangers. For example, back in 2004 Sean Collins who visited Bishop’s Rock with Billabong Odyssey counted 12 boats in the water and over 40 surfers.
It featured in the 2015 film Point Break:
Bishop’s Rock was one of the locations where the 2015 remake of the Point Break film was filmed. So if you want to check out Bishop’s Rock in a blockbuster movie, it’s well worth watching the 2015 version of Point Break.
In conclusion, if you enjoy discovering exciting facts about the Channel Islands which are located off the coast of California, hopefully, you enjoyed learning a few fun facts about Cortes Bank.