I really shouldn't give the day a "bad review", after all - by the end of the day I was in a hotel room, the gondola was in the water (on top of it, not under the surface), and everything was set.
But it was one of those days where nearly everything takes longer than it should and you have to work at it to keep a positive attitude.
I won't go into details, except to offer this analogy:
After carrying two heavy suitcases up five flights of stairs, you enter the hallway of the fifth floor huffing and sweating. You hear a "ding". As you turn towards the sound, you discover the elevator you could have just taken. You still made it to the fifth floor, but it could have been easier.
All the same, it was a successful day.
Here are a pair of photos from the haulout.