Together with Ferrol and San Fernando near Cadiz, the other great naval stations of Spain, it is governed by an admiral with the title of captain-general.
He had a squadron at Brest, ships at L'Orient and Rochefort, some of his vessels had taken refuge at Ferrol on their way back from San Domingo when war broke out, one was at Cadiz, and he had a squadron at Toulon.
On the 1st of June he was joined by a frigate and two line-of-battle ships sent with orders from Rochefort, and was told to remain in the West Indies till the 5th of July, and if not joined by Ganteaume to steer for Ferrol, pick up the French and Spanish ships in the port, and come on to the Channel.
Nelson, who reached Gibraltar on the very day the action off Ferrol was fought, was too far away to interfere with him.
Vivero Bay and the Ria del Barquero y Vares are of a similar character; while the harbour of Ferrol ranks among the best in Europe, and is the chief naval station on the northern coast of Spain.
The proclamation of the king's daughter Isabella as heiress was almost the occasion of an armed conflict between him and the naval authorities at Ferrol, who were partisans of the constitutional cause.
The Santa and Nepena valleys are separated by a desert 8 leagues in width, on the shores of which there is a good anchorage in the bay of Ferrol, where the port of Chimbote is the terminus of a railway.
Santa Islet lies off the bay of Cosca, in 9° I' 40", and the three high rocks of Ferrol in 9° 8' 30" S.
His unskilful and unlucky management of the sea expedition to Ferrol and the Azores in no way lowered his popularity with the people, but undoubtedly weakened his influence with the queen.
The navy is recruited by conscription in the coast or maritime districts, which are divided into three naval captaincies-general, those of Ferrol, Cadiz and Cartagenaat the head of each being a vice-admiral.
The Bay of Gijon is the most important roadstead on the Spanish coast between Ferrol and Santander.