The sun woke us this morning.
It had just begun to shine through our porthole - either because the clouds had opened or more likely - because the ship had changed position.
I felt the vessel's gentle movement - the same rhythm that had made it so easy to fall asleep last night.
Then again, the check-in process of boarding a large cruise ship may have also helped to speed up that process.
We are aboard the MSC Armonia - an Italian ship.
A day after the Vogalonga, we boarded the big floating city and marveled at Venice - shooting hundreds of photos from the top deck as we passed through the Giudecca canal.
My daughter Cassandra and I staked out an area on deck twelve and went nuts with our cameras; she with a mid-range lense, and me with a big three-hundred.
I won't really know how well the photos came out until I'm back home in California at my computer.
Today we're in the Southern Italian city of Bari.
To my knowledge there are no gondolas here, but if there are, rest assured that I'll find them.
I spoke with Nereo Zane on the phone yesterday and he confirmed for me that the 2009 Vogalonga was among the toughest. When I return to Venice in a week, he'll give me a copy of Monday's Il Gazzetino and we'll see what the reporters have to say.
In the days leading up to the Long Row, I had hoped to visit with friends in Venice.
Unfortunately that didn't happen.
So to all of my friends (the ones I've met, and the ones I will soon meet) You can get in touch with me by commenting here and I'll try to respond to you via e-mail at the next port.
We're off to Greek and Croatian ports in the week to come.
In the mean time, I'm doing my best to communicate and function on a ship full of Italians. My language skills seem to be improving a little each day.
Wish me luck.
Arrivederci my friends,