Cruising World Magazine - June 2008, pg 16
by Beth A. Leonard
"In an area where the charts may be off by as much as a mile, sailors will appreciate the detailed, GPS-accurate chartlets and the thorough research that went into the making of Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser's Guidebook by Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer. It also helps that this guide was well thought out, which means it's beautifully designed and easy to use.
Compiled from a variety of computer-based sources and supplemented by thousands of soundings taken by the authors, the chartlets would in themselves justify the price of this book, available from Blue Latitude Press ($49.95; www.bluelatitudepress.com). Users also get all that one expects from a good cruising guide plus useful suggestions for hikes and activities ashore, recommendations on restaurants and shops, recipes using local ingredients, and hundreds of professional-quality photographs. Sample itineraries simplify voyage planning, and tables showing distances to nearby anchorages offer the appropriate next-stop possibilities at a glance. With Sea of Cortez, the authors have raised the standard for cruising guides in general and guides to Mexico in particular."
For more information on noted author and cruiser, Beth A. Leonard, check her website at www.bethandevans.com.
www.noonsite.com - June 2008; Books, Charts and DVDs Section
"This book is a true labour of love, its two authors having spent four years (2003 to 2007) compiling a most comprehensive guide to one of the most attractive cruising areas of the world. Exploring every nook and cranny between Baja California and the Mexican mainland in their Westsail 32 Om Shanti, the authors’ enthusiasm and affection for this unique body of water comes through on every page.
The reader’s appetite, including this reviewer’s, is constantly whetted by colourful descriptions of secluded anchorages, amazing encounters with the prolific wildlife, all illustrated by a generous supply of excellent photographs. As an experienced graphic designer, Shawn Breeding has produced scores of harbour plans as well as detailed chartlets, all matched to accurate GPS readings and accompanied by relevant waypoints. As the subtitle suggests, this is more than just a cruising guide as shore attractions and facilities are described in enough detail to provide a complete picture of what to see and do on land..."
Noonsite.com is the culmination of Jimmy Cornell's work on the global cruising scene for the last quarter of a century and a distillation of his best-selling books World Cruising Handbook and World Cruising Routes.
Latitude 38 - May 2008, Sightings: pgs 108-111
by LaDonna Bubak
"It's been awhile since a new cruising guide for Baja's Sea of Cortez has been published, so Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer's Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser's Guidebook will be a welcome addition to every Baja-bound boaters bookshelf.
Breeding and Bansmer spent more than two years painstakingly researching this beefy 312-page guide. They even created chartlets of the most popular - and some lesser-known - anchorages in the Sea. Using satellite photos and NASA data, as well as taking depth soundings by hand, the couple have created extremely detailed charts that include accurate GPS waypoints, topography and the best snorkeling spots.
The spectacular photography and bits of history, trivia and recipes scattered throughout really bring the book to life, while the entries for each area offer a wide cariety of activities and services for cruisers to choose from.
When we ran into the couple at Strictly Sail Pacific last month, we asked the how their guide is different from others. "It's better," laughed Shawn. That rather biased opinion aside, we have to say that their efforts have resulted in an extremely user-friendly resource. If you can't find Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser's Guidebook at your local chandlery - or you'd just like to check it out before committing - you can buy a signed copy at www.exploringcortez.com."
Gringo Gazette - April 28, 2008, pg 16
by Diane Carmona
"Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser's Guidebook is the most up-to-date, comprehensive guide detailing the remote and pristine anchorages of the Baja peninsula and Mexican mainland within the Sea of Cortez. The colorful, well-designed guide is full of accurate, up-to-date GPS chartlets, local information, and stunning photography, allowing the boater and dreamer alike to explore the striking beauty of the land where the desert meets the sea.
Authors Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer have spent four seasons cruising and documenting the Sea of Cortez aboard their sailboat, Om Shanti. Originally from Bellingham, Washington and the beautiful but frigid cruising grounds in the Pacific Northwest, Shawn and Heather set sail in June 2003 to pursue their cruising dream which ultimately took them to the warm waters of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. Breeding, who is a professional graphic designer, and Bansmer, who has long pursued writing as a hobby, have combined their talents and their love for boating to create this one-of-a-king coffee table guide, which is beautiful and a practical cruising guide. The graphics are stunning, and make this book a joy to use. It even makes a great armchair cruising guide, it's so descriptive and beautiful.
Important information like weather, Ham and SSB radio nets, customs and immigration information, marina locations and layouts, fuel availability, boat haul out facilities and marine chandleries are among many of the features detailed through this guide. And because the cruising doesn't stop when the hook is dropped or the docklines are made fast, city maps, grocery store locations, hiking trails, dive and snorkel sites and much more is also included.
The guidebook uses today's technology, with satellite imagery, NASA SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) data, marine navigational software and GPS to construct accurate chartlets. As many boaters find out first hand when cruising the Sea of Cortez, the large-scale government charts are outdated and inaccurate (sometimes by more than a nautical mile), based on surveys from the 1800s. Using navigational software or GPS chart plotters, boaters often find their boat's position plotted erroneously over land rather than their actual position on the water. This makes the new guidebook an invaluable aid to mariners, with accurate chartlets and descriptions of the anchorages, personally surveyed depth information, and hundreds of GPS waypoints personally taken by the authors. As updates to information become available, they are posted to www.exploringcortez.com or the publisher's website, www.bluelatitudepress.com.
You can purchase your own copy...at Allende Books, La Paz's English language bookstore, which is located just up the street from the mermaid and dolphin statue on the malecon, on Allende St. Allende is the publisher's authorized reseller for Sea of Cortez. The eponymously named bookstore is open 10 to 6, Monday through Friday and 10 to 2 on Saturdays... Email: Allendebooks@gmail.com or phone: 612-125-9114."
48 North - March 2008, page 32, Lowtide - Book Reviews
"Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser’s Guidebook, written by Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer is a full color cruising guide details over 100 anchorages found within the cruising waters of the Sea of Cortez, off the eastern coast of Baja, Mexico. This colorful, well-designed guide is full of GPS accurate, up-to-date chartlets as well as stunning photography, allowing the boater and dreamer alike to explore the striking beauty of where desert meets the sea.
Sea of Cortez, harnesses today’s technology by utilizing satellite imagery, NASA SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) data, marine navigational software and GPS waypoints to construct the most accurate chartlets available for each anchorage. As many boaters find out first hand when cruising throughout the Sea of Cortez, the small scale government charts currently available are outdated and based on surveys performed in the late 1800s to early 1900s. These government charts are also inaccurate, occasionally off by more than one nautical mile, showing boats traveling over land on their navigational software systems or chart plotters. For this reason, Sea of Cortez, is an invaluable aid to mariners, providing detailed, GPS accurate chartlets of anchorages, personally surveyed depth information, along with hundreds of GPS waypoints collected by the authors.
This cruising guide also features many helpful details outside the realm of boat navigation, such as local history and activities, informative sidebars, hiking trails, dive and snorkel sites, beaches for shell collectors, as well as city maps, restaurant guides, grocery store and marine chandlery listings. This handy information allows boaters to navigate both on the water and on land with ease and the ability to explore each destination to its fullest.
The authors, Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer, have spent four seasons exploring and documenting Mexico and the Sea of Cortez aboard their Westsail 32, Om Shanti."