Bodega Bay is named for Don Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra. The name “Bodega” probably refers to an ancestor who worked in a wine cellar or warehouse, two meanings of the Spanish word.
Born in Peru in 1743, Bodega traveled to Spain as a young man to enter the Cadiz Naval Academy. Returning home an officer, his career was hindered by the navy’s prejudice against those who were not Spanish-born.
To prove himself, Bodega volunteered for a dangerous voyage in 1775, when Spain was beginning to colonize California. The mission was to sail as far north as possible, claiming territory while looking for the Russians who were rumored to be moving down the Pacific Coast.
From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The complete story is HERE.