Bodega y Quadra was not only a skilled mariner, but a talented diplomat as well. He was well respected by those who came into contact with him, and was a gracious host even during trying times. Bodega y Quadra’s accomplishments are still coming to light for English and Spanish speakers alike, and so his reputation is based as much upon his abilities in international relations as on his skill as a navigator. The Spanish and the British mariners were old acquaintances, crossing paths many times as they charted the Pacific Northwest. The events of the Nootka Crisis forced Bodega y Quadra to discuss and arrange the hand-over of Spanish claims in Nootka Sound with specially dispatched representative Captain Vancouver. In 1792, Vancouver wrote of his Peruvian host what would later be published in his official account:
“The well-known generosity of my other Spanish friends will, I trust, pardon the warmth of expression with which I must ever advert to the conduct of Sen. Quadra; who, regardless of the difference in opinion that had arisen between us in our diplomatic capacities at Nootka, had uniformly maintained towards us a character infinitely beyond the reach of my powers of encomium to describe. His benevolence was not confined to the common rites of hospitality, but was extended to all occasions, and was exercised in every instance, where His Majesty’s service, combined with my commission, was in the least concerned.”
Bodega y Quadra and Vancouver socialized at the Nootka Sound outpost of Fort San Miguel, dined together aboard ship, and attempted to discuss the complicated details of dividing their claims in the Pacific Northwest. All this was done without a common language between them, with reliance on informal translation by a crewmember. Bodega y Quadra not only attended to his duties, he fed Vancouver’s men fresh meat and milk and re-supplied Vancouver’s expedition vessels, refusing payment for the goods.