Somehow sunsets never cease to amaze. No matter what the setting, what the season, or the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of times it has happened before, a clear skyline and a glowing sun sinking into the horizon never fails to bring pause to activity.

Sitting on the beach, alternately burying and discovering my toes in the sand, I watch joggers trot along, heads fixed to the west. As the sun shimmering and warping breaches the horizon and the clouds above begin to glow, conversations ebb, then stop altogether as thoughts wander toward the waning moments of the day and beyond.

A sailboat silhouette slides silently along the horizon, front row to the display. I think to myself, now THAT would be a nice way to enjoy a sunset in San Diego!

Captain Kenny grabbing
some breeze.

A week later, inspired by a sunset's inspiration, I'm climbing aboard a 25-foot Catalina 250 sailboat, complements of Seaforth Boat Rentals. Although Seaforth is one of several charter operations located in San Diego, it boasts the largest fleet in the area with over 200 boats, from water ski boats and bayliners to the luxurious 36-foot Catalina sailboat. Seaforth has the added advantage of operating out of three separate locations: Mission Bay, downtown San Diego, and Coronado Island, allowing for a variety of scenery and sailing experiences. And for those with a deeper interest in sailing, the Seaforth Sailing Club offers U.S. Coast Guard-approved instruction from beginner through advanced sailing.

Onboard my companion and I are introduced to our personal captain for the evening, a congenial local named Kenny, and we settle into our seats. While we (Kenny not included, of course) uncork a bottle of wine and exchange small talk, Kenny navigates us past docks and moored yachts towards the open ocean, where the summer evening promises another perfect San Diego sunset.

The evening air is warm, but the cool ocean breeze makes my companion and I pull a blanket tight over our laps. The salty marine air lingers in my nose as we motor through the channel past massive, churning ferryboats and solitary fishermen in bobbing rowboats. A glance to the sky reveals the marine layer (known as fog in the rest of the world) is beginning to manifest itself, but I see that the horizon is clear, like a movie screen waiting for the evening's feature presentation.

Open ocean at last. Our fearless captain kills the engine and raises the sail, and I am immediately shocked by the silence (William Snaith comes to mind, "At last, the god-damned engine is quiet."). My companion and I excuse ourselves to the bow of the boat and dangle our feet off the edge. As we drift along encouraged by the ocean breeze and a recharge glasses of wine, I yield to the silence - the soft sound of waves lapping against the boat, the distant cry of gulls on the breeze, the irregular tap-tap-tapping of rigging against the mast. As the sun retires for the evening, I see the last light reflecting off the windows of houses perched on the La Jolla bluffs light streetlamps.

Before long we will turn around and head back to the dock, our two-hour tour having run its course. But now along the shore, I can vaguely make out the shape of joggers trotting along and can just imagine the conversations that are not happening.
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For more information, visit Seaforth Boat Rentals online or call 619/223-1681 (Mission Bay), 61/239-2628 (Downtown), or 619/437-1514 (Coronado). - By Misha Troyan, San Diego Correspondent.
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