Monday, April 23, 2018

Opportunity Comes to Napa

As you know from my post "It's All About the Wood", Angelino has been preparing things for his operation in Napa, California.  

The beautiful custom-built gondola featured in that post took her first passengers on Valentine's Day (see "The New Boat in Oakland"
and is now ready to fulfill her destiny - taking passengers and making memories on the Napa River in California's wine country.

This is a dream that Angelino has been developing for years.
He brought a boat to the location back in 2003, but the circumstances were different and things weren't exactly the way they needed to be.

Now, after decades in the business, the stars have aligned and soon the most beautiful gondola in North America will call the Main Street Boat Dock her home.

Ah, but things don't always go exactly as we plan them.
It seems that Gondolas aren't the only thing that Angelino is great at.
He's been working with an Italian wine import company for some time now, and it turns out, he's going to need to remain in Oakland (when not traveling through Italy with clients).

The bottom line:
He's looking for one good gondolier - who knows their stuff, is a strong rower, and is willing to relocate - to row that gorgeous gondola on the Napa River.

This will be like having your own gondola operation, except that you won't have to buy the boat, set up all the intricate details, and shoulder the many other burdens of company ownership.

Sound great?
Tell ya what - I'm jealous of whoever ends up getting the job.

A full-time staff will handle booking the tours, 
so most client interaction will only be on the docks and while cruising.
The base of operations is located at the base of the 3rd Street bridge at the intersection of 3rd and Main Street.
The gondolier will need to arrange their own living situation, 
and expect to be available 5 days per week.

If you're interested, contact Angelino at:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Out with Lucia

Just another sunset cruise in Newport,
this time on Lucia with her canopy on.
I swear, this just never gets old.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Five Hundred in the Big Easy

I wish I'd kept a tally. I wish I'd kept a score.
A simple sheet of paper, or scratches under a floorboard.
Ahh, but there are folks out there who are smarter than I am;

guys like Roberto in New Orleans.

Of course, he has had some run-ins with hurricanes,
but still, he has been smart enough to keep track of how many 
"big questions" were asked and answered on-board his gondola.
and yesterday, Nola Gondola hosted number five hundred!

Congrats to the happy couple,
and an even bigger congrats to Roberto - on such a great milestone.

Here's to 500 more!

No Sole Mio

After 17 years of operating on the Charles River in Boston,
Gondola di Venezia is now for sale,
and the boats are not scheduled to be launched this spring.

Here's an article in the Boston Globe about it:


Friday, March 30, 2018

Late Night Serenity

So much of what I post here is either from daytime or around sunset.
Of course we tend to have more cruises at those times.
But when people ask me about my favorite time, I tell them that I loe to be out late in the evening - when the winds have calmed, and there's nobody else out on the water.
Here's a photo I took tonight from the back of my boat.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Seriously Ready for St. Paddy's

photo by Mike Olsen

Green striped shirt:

Green striped oar:

Gondola with green floors and interior:

Green Converse shoes:

Legit Irish flag:

Ready for St. Patrick's Day:


Eddie's got it totally dialed-in.
(now where's the Guinness?) 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Stefano in Alaska Airlines Publicatioin

A while back I had the good fortune of having a writer aboard my gondola.
She was writing a piece for Alaska Beyond Magazine - the in-flight magazine for Alaska Airlines.
We had a wonderful time, and she wrote a nice piece about her experience here in Newport.

We sent in a decent collection of photos for them to choose from,

and they chose a photo with one of my favorite gondoliers: Stefano.
(Yes, that Stefano - the guy I wrote about in my post "Marathon Man" )

photo by S.E. Atkins
To read the article (and see a much better quality photo),
go to the online version of the magazine:
and go to page 144,
Or better yet, hop on an Alaska Airlines flight, 
take a much needed vacation,
and enjoy the magazine in the seat pouch in front of you.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Batela from Above

photo by Mark Schooling

On Saturday the 17th of February, Mark of Gondola Paradiso in Oxnard 
was able to snap this photo of gondolier Josh Sopp - rowing the only batela west of the Atlantic.

Josh rowed for many years at the Gondola Company of Newport.
He was actually one of the guys who trained Mark Schooling so many years ago.  Josh moved into another career category, but always missed rowing.
We all got a surprise visit from Josh when he showed up at the most recent US Gondola Nationals in Huntington Harbour.
During that re-connection, he and Mark got to talking about rowing.

Next thing you know, Josh is back on a boat.
He got to pilot several cruises on both Valentine's Day and the Saturday that followed.
Here are a few more shots:

Look at those crisp white pants on V-Day.
Looking good, Josh!

 One more time under the bridge.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Valentine's Day 2.0

 With the exception of Leap Year, Valentine's Day falls 
on a different day each year. 
If it falls on a Saturday, we know it's gonna be huge.  
But weekday V-Days are unpredictable. 
Often we experience a large flow of cruises on the weekend prior to the holiday, but that wasn't really the case this year.  
I believe there were too many people watching the Olympics. 
To our surprise, this year we had a very big Saturday...after the holiday. 
Our calendar on the 17th was booked up and it turned out to almost be a second V-Day for us in Newport.

 Simon began the day with a cruise on Stella,

 heading off into smooth water under sunny conditions.

 Jonah with a happy couple on the Contessa pupparin.

 John from Minnesota enjoying another day in California.

 I had the opportunity to row the Contessa as well.

Mike waves as he departs.

 It's not all about the rowing either.
Kalev shows how important it is to be able to 
take pictures with whatever the passengers hand you.

 Kyle waves under brilliant colored skies.

 Kalev at night.

 Popping that champagne cork.

 Eddie keeping things squared away between departures.