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.
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.
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: http://www.paradigmcg.com/digitaleditions/abm-0318/html5/ 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.
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!
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.