After a successful but exhausting Valentine's Day, John Kerschbaum and I finally turned in at around 4am. I slept better than I have in months.
After a leisurely morning, punctuated by at least eight cups of coffee, John and I drove up the coast a bit to visit with Sunset Gondola.
Sunset Gondola operates in Huntington Harbour from the Sunset Beach area off of Pacific Coast Highway. They currently have three boats: a beautiful standard gondola, a passenger pupparin, and a sandolo which is primarily a "club boat" - used for recreational rowing.
Tim Reinard was there when we arrived, we talked and joked for a while and then John and I took out the sandolo for a row through this port which I'd heard so many great things about.
After setting the forcolas for us, Tim gave a brief rundown of the boat, handed me a map of the waterway, and we were off.
I had arrived with high expectations of this port, but Huntington Harbour still exceeded my expectations.
We had a blast exploring many of the different canals, and the weather, while a bit windy at times, was beautiful.
The sandolo was a real treat to row; she was quick and responsive - a perfect boat for two "gondola fanatics" out for a workout.
When we got back to the dock, Tyson and Joanna had arrived and we all had a great time telling stories and cracking each other up.
Another gondolier, Nico, showed up and took six passengers out in the gondola; he had a nice departure and a good, strong stroke.
As usual, when gondola operators get together and talk, everybody comes away with new ideas to try, and this day was no exception.
Everybody enjoyed getting to know John and I know he looks forward to seeing them all again next time he's out here from Minnesota.
Tim, Tyson and Joanna were gracious and hospitable. They clearly love what they do and they are just the type of folks I like to see in the gondola business.
photo by Joanna Herrera
To learn more about Sunset Gondola, go to www.sunsetgondola.com.