Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Visit to Sunset Gondola

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.

Tim sets the forcolas while John makes sure that piling doesn't fall over.

John and I rowing the sandolo.
photo by Joanna Herrera

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.

A view from the back of the sandolo. If you click this photo to enlarge, you can see the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

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.

Tyson wrangling furniture.

Another gondolier, Nico, showed up and took six passengers out in the gondola; he had a nice departure and a good, strong stroke.

Nico shoves-off "skateboard style".

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.

From left to right: Tim Reinard, Greg Mohr, John Kerschbaum, and Tyson Davis.
photo by Joanna Herrera

To learn more about Sunset Gondola, go to

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