April 2007

And, When Youíre In San Diego ó

Stop By Seabreeze; Itís For Boaters, Anglers

An Invitation From Capt. Ann Kinner

If you own a boat, if you have an interest in things nautical, if you spend time in or near Point Loma in San Diego, you ought to visit a unique place called Seabreeze.  Since 1980, Seabreeze has been offering one of the most complete collections of nautical books and charts in the United States. 

A small front room displays a nice variety of brass clocks and weather instruments, stationery and paper goods, unusual jewelry, and books for children.  Then an archway to the right leads to the heart of the store – the “Chart Room.” 

Here you can find charts, chart books, cruising guides for destinations all around the globe.  The expert crew at Seabreeze can help you plan your dream voyage whether it’s across the Pacific or up to Catalina. 

If you haven’t bought the “perfect boat” yet, there’s a selection of books on design, power and sail, and how to sort through the offerings to get to the right boat for you for now.  You can even find books on boat building, small to large, wood, metal or fiberglass, from scratch or from a hull that needs a little TLC.

For the armchair voyager, the fiction area offers several series based on naval history.  Of course, there are the O’Brian books, but have you heard about Alexander Kent or Julian Stockwin, or Frederick Marryat who was an admiral in the British navy at the time of the Napoleonic wars and wrote several books from the perspective of someone who stood on the deck as the cannon balls flew? 

How about Clyde Ford who writes about detective Charlie Noble, solving crimes while meandering around the San Juan Islands? 

Once you start through the fiction, you’ll find a whole section of nautical history – you can see exactly where those writers got their ideas, who was the model for Robinson Crusoe and which captain was responsible for his first being marooned and then being rescued.  You can learn how the compass evolved, how the winds were named, how we got charts in the first place.

The inventory at Seabreeze covers almost every subject a boater might want to know about. And, for a little over two years now, Seabreeze has been sending books all around the world through its Web site and on-line catalog:  www.seabreezebooks.com.

The unofficial “slogan” at Seabreeze is “Where in the world are YOU going?”  It isn’t meant to be rude – it’s the way so many conversations get started.

It isn’t at all unusual for old friends sailing in opposite directions to find each other in the Seabreeze chart room.  Cruiser reunions happen frequently!  And, because people come back over and over again, the Seabreeze crew hears first hand about what trips were like, which books were best, what else is out there. 

In the last few months, Seabreeze has launched a new series of events:  book signings, of all things!  Most recently, John Kretschmer (At the Mercy of the Sea) spoke about the research he did to understand how his good friend – and two other boats – ended up on the wrong side of a hurricane. 

In April, Tom Kendrick (Bluewater Goldrush) will share his surfing and diving experiences along the California coast.  Some time in July, Craig Smith (Extreme Waves) will describe the process that produces those rogues that delight some surfers and roll some boats over. 

“We are, after all, a book store,” says Capt. Ann Kinner, owner since July 2004 and part of the Seabreeze crew for the last 10 years.  “We’ve always considered ourselves part of the boating community, and we’re all active boaters. 

“We just haven’t pushed the book-store part.  I thought, since we are one, why not act like one!” 

Most of these events are on Sunday afternoons, late enough not to interfere with being out on the water, and early enough to be done before dinner, or that plane out of town.  You can add your name to the e-mail list if you’d like to know who’s next and when. 

“I have a hard time remembering that this is my ‘job’,” says Capt. Ann, “I never really feel like it’s work.  Some days are long, and some are confusing — particularly with all the special orders — but it’s never work.” 

If you haven’t been to Seabreeze, we highly recommend you make the trip.  Seabreeze is at 1254 Scott Street, on the corner of Scott and Carleton, in Point Loma (not far from the sportfishing docks).  Look for the turquoise awnings and the friendly crew.