Thursday, February 7, 2008

Images of the day - the Isabella Celeste is back in Newport

Several years ago, I shipped one of my favorite gondolas out from Newport to our Irving, Texas location. She did well but got knocked around a bit more than I would have liked.
I admit, she was shipped back to Newport mostly out of frustration - I tend to get a bit emotional when it comes to gondolas, and this one was named after my youngest daughter Isabella.
After Chris Harrison and I restored her to her original glory and she was re-powered, we sent her out to our Lake Las Vegas operation. the staff liked the boat but in heat that reaches 120 degrees, they often chose to drive the gondolas which allow them to sit in the shade. Say what you want about "toughing it out" but I'm not about to ask folks to do anything strenuous in that kind of climate.
Back in July, I decided to bring the Isabella Celeste back to her original home. We had an interesting experience at the Navada/California border (see posts about Quagga Mussels), but she arrived safe and sound in Orange County. After completely going through her, she now has fresh paint, new aluminum rub-rail, a new motor mount (I broke the other one while hauling out in Lake Las Vegas - yeah, insert your favorite "hey Greg, you're a bonehead" remark here), a bright red boot stripe at the waterline, and fresh antifouling bottom paint. In addition, I had the ferro professionally polished, washed the canvas, and mounted an italian flag on her sternlight pole. The flag was one that we flew off the Phoenix during the Columbus Day Parade in NYC after the Hudson River Expedition.
Senior Gondolier Joey Hammamoto and I launched her, his brother Danny (also one of my Senior Gondoliers) brought her back to the docks, and today, gondolier Tim White and I ran her through the tests - making sure everything worked properly.
Here are a few of the photos from that exercise, and one of some yahoos battling it out in sailboats (I just liked the shot).

Yahoos, I tell you - a bunch of yahoos!

One week till V-Day, and only a few days until our first busy day. I've got to get some sleep.

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