Our friends at Sunset Gondola took delivery of two beautiful gondolas today. About two months ago they ventured out to Venice to "make some deals, and buy some boats". They were wise to contact Roberto at Squero dei Rossi, and tell him they were coming. The folks at Squero dei Rossi gave Tim and Tyson the kind of hospitality and professionalism that they are known for. With the help of Roberto, Tim and Tyson were successful and managed to secure a dei Rossi gondola, and a Tramontin gondola. Today was the big day - the day to "splash them". After much anticipation, Tyson clipped the seal on the latch of the container. Tim did the honors of opening the doors. He mentioned something about the smell in the container, and I couldn't resist - I jumped up and smelled it for myself. It smelled a lot like a squero (that's a good thing, by the way). The gondolas were expertly "nested", one on top of the other, but offset just the right amount. The blue tarp that covered the opening gave everything a mystical glow. We were truly lucky to have Sean Antonioli on hand for the occasion. He came out this week to be in a friend's wedding - perfect timing as he was invaluable - from hoisting to baling. In the above shot, Sean discussed some of the hoisting details with shipyard staff...talking with his hands like a good Italian.
During the unloading process, I met Andrew McHardy and Eric Sjoberg - two of the most experienced gondoliers in Southern California.