Many are the books written about San Francisco, about its colorful and often ribald history, its fire, its present beauty and charm. This very good work however introduces us to its maritime history, by well-chosen examples from a storehouse of tales from the past. As one of the world's great ports, its tales can't help but intrigue and fascinate. The author deals first with those sea rovers of the 16th and 17th Centuries---men like Cabrillo, Drake, or Vizcaino---who first sailed the northern California shores without knowing of the potential of the great harbor inside the ""Gate"". From there we go to Spanish settlements, to Fremont's capture of California in 1846, into the sail-billowing days of clipper ship and passenger transport following discovery of gold. Men like Harry Melggs or filibuster William Walker---ships like Flying Cloud---fill the pages. San Francisco's wrecks, like the famed Rio de Jane, and her consequent stories of daring sea rescue, are not neglected either. The famed warships and liners that have sailed through the gate, as well as the fishing, lumber, whaling, and ferry fleets, are included. The history of Alcatraz island in mid Ray provides a fascinating story of its own. A commendable addition to the lore of San Francisco.