Sunday, February 18, 2018

The New Boat in Oakland

photos by Angelino Sandri

Last moth I posted photos of an exceptionally beautiful gondola in Oakland.
When Angelino and I were rolling her back into the building, 
she hadn't been in the water yet since she was sea-trialed in Venezia.  
He mentioned that he might launch her in time for cruises on Valentine's Day.
Looks like he did.
Here are the photos to prove it.

Ready and waiting at the dock in front of the Lake Chalet.

The Gondola Servizio dock in the background.
You can just see the stern of the sandolo 
peeking out from behind another gondola.

Lucky couple enjoying a cruise.

Returning to dock.

This is a remarkable boat.
If you haven't viewed photos of her in my earlier post, 
"It's All About the Wood" do so - it's worth your time.
The boat in these photos is actually moving to another location in Napa, but I think it was a fitting first-floating for her to host passengers on Lake Merritt.
Gondola Servizio has been actively cruising with passengers on this lake in Oakland since 1999.

Friday, February 16, 2018

V-Day 2018 in Newport

Here's a collection of images from Valentine's Day of 2018 here in Newport Harbor. I spent a lot of time running around, making sure things were in order, and rowing cruises as well.

If I'd just camped out with my Nikon, I'm sure I could have published a coffee table book of great photos - as there are so many things to point and shoot at.

 The morning started with a familiar sound of hammering.
Gary, Eddie, and Mike set their forcole with mallets and wedges.

The first boats departing with happy passengers.

Gary and I passed each other in the canals with Italian greetings.

 Mike arriving on the pupparin known as Contessa.

The Wedding Gondola awaits another couple.

A small one-of-a-kind gondola being rowed by Simon.

Simon returning with a tip of the hat.

As the day turned to evening, the sky was a brilliant display of color.

Another V-Day in the books.
We enjoyed beautiful weather, great brotherhood among gondoliers, 
and everyone who sat in a gondola had a wonderful time.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dramatic Sky Departures

I stood on the dock in Newport this evening 
and watched as several gondoliers rowed off into uncertain conditions. 

It had been cool and blustery,

then the clouds made their entrance.
At one point some raindrops came down,
but it was way better than it could have been.

Mike Olsen rows a boat that he recently restored. 

John Kerschbaum of Minnesota enjoys non-frozen waters.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Bepi Venexiano in Sea Magazine

Without question, nearly every single gondola operation in the U.S.
is the best kept secret in the city.

It's not that we want it that way.
It's just that we operate silent black boats in the dark.

Thanks to Sea Magazine, Sunset Gondola in Huntington Harbour 
has a bit more visibility since the February edition was released.

Click here to see a digital version.
He's on page 63 and 64.

The full issue, along with the second page of the article is here:

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Carnival on the Water

video by Nereo Zane

When you hear about  processions on the Grand Canal, 
you might expect serious things.
You might expect traditional pomp and circumstance.
but when it comes to Carneval, you would be surprised.

Recently a bunch of crazy Venetians (the very best kind) 
got together, dressed themselves up, and rowed their various craft
 down the Canalazzo - to the thrill and encouragement of a multitude of onlookers.  All in clear but rather cold conditions.

I've included the video clip here, but I recommend going to this link

and bringing it up to full screen.

I've watched it all the way through several times,
and there are lots of fun things worth pointing out.

All views are from the GSVVM batela (themed out this year as “the Mickey Mouse boat” for fairly obvious reasons)

It doesn’t happen very often, but now and then they actually shut down the Grand Canal for an event.

In this case it was for the rowing procession of clubs  - all dressed up in some sort of costume or other.

Here's my play-by-play.
quite likely you will find other fun stuff as you watch.

Time      details
00:56     Holstein cow rows in sestina.      
01:10     The big red and white peata “The Brentana” makes her entrance. 
We’ve looked at this huge boat before in the post That "Big Boat from Brenta"

01:33     Someone’s got pink hair. Wait, they ALL have pink hair!
01:47     Spongebob theme? Oh yeah! No wait…those guys are actually dressed as sections of the Mose floating tide barrier system.  Original, but I would have gone with Spongebob.
01:56     Accademia Bridge appears to be masked for restoration.
02:15     Vaporetto stops make good viewing platforms.
03:01     Look! Escaped prisoners!
03:40     Vaporetto vessel leaning hard to port.
04:50     Sumo sighted on a sandolo.         
05:20     Rialto Bridge comes into view.

At some point the band, DJ, or some dude with a sound system on the big peata came into earshot.       

05:50     Passing under Rialto.
06:10     Everybody sings a familiar song.
08:15     “Pope, Ohe!”
10:14     The procession enters the Cannaregio Canal, 

rowing towards the Tre Archi Bridge.
10:33     Things are getting cramped!
11:22     Now THAT’S a crowd.
12:00     It’s the “FruitCrate Gondola!” 
And MAN does that guy have a fancy outfit.
12:38     The Phantoms of the Opera
13:10     Yes, that IS a huge rat.
14:13     Balloon release!

Big thanks to Nereo Zane for giving us a front-row seat to this fun and unusual tradition in Venezia.
In case you'd forgotten what Nereo looks like,
I've included a very recent photo of him here:
Oh yeah.
He definitely pulled off the Mickey look.
Drawn-on whiskers and all.
I don't think I could have rocked that look as well as he did.