A Maritime History of Baja California describes the most important harbors and anchorages of the Baja California peninsula by charts, maps, satellite imagery and photos. The history of each of those places is developed by recording, in chronological order, the most important ships to have touched that anchorage. The visits in the 1500s by Spanish explorers including Ulloa, Cortes and Cabrillo, as well as assaults by pirates all contribute to the rich history of the peninsula. The entradas of the mission ships, otter hunters and whalers are also described. The ships of the U.S. Navy and their assaults on San Jose del Cabo, La Paz, and Mulege are recorded. The 'Concessions' to American and British companies and their influence on maritime trade is an important part of the story as is the era of the Gold Rush Steamers. The history of each harbor is brought up-to-date with photos and information on the many U.S. military ships including the 'Great White Fleet' to call at these ports. The impact of the fishing industry, yachts, sport fishers, and cruise ships on the peninsular waters, ports, and cities brings the book into the modern era.
Ed Vernon's many visits to Baja since 1976 led first to his researching and writing about the peninsula's missions in his Las Misiones Antiguas followed seven years later by his current book A Maritime History of Baja California. A retired businessman, Ed lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Barbara. Rodney J. Taylor is professor of English and a historic nautical artifact collector.