Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lama in the Doorway

I shot this in San Marco, from a canal fondamenta between Campo San Maurizio and Campo Santa Maria del Giglio.

Here's another view of the poppa. Interesting how the deck has been painted with glossy paint on the inside of the deck-trim, and satin finish elsewhere.

The ferro is a traditional aluminum version.
Some of my favorite moments involve boats I didn't expect to see, in quiet places, just waiting to be photographed.


Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

That gondola is certainly well maintained, surely better cared for than the casa behind!

Is that an optical illusion, or is there really a skull hidden in the right side hole in the wall? (third picture)

By the way, with regards to the aluminium ferro: do they need to add a secret counterweight in the hull, when using a light alloy ferro? I think a traditional iron or steel ferro usually weighs 12 to 20 kilos to provide balance for the remier, who is standing on the other end of the boat.

Gondola Greg said...

Hi Tamas.
I believe it's an illusion.
I pulled up the original image, which is ten times larger, and it doesn't look much like a skull at that size. But at the size you see on the blog...YIKES! It SURE does!

As for the weight difference between an aluminum ferro and a steel one, good question. I've wondered about that myself. An extra pound or two on the gondola may have an affect on things, but if you put that extra weight all the way out at the end of the bow, it could conceivably drop the nose a touch.

With the exception of stepping to the left or right, or dictating the placement of passengers as they sit, I usually don't make adjustments to the balance of a gondola. I approach each gondola as I would approach a car, getting to know the boat's balance and behavior, and often adjusting my rowing style accordingly.
When the tide in Newport is at that "borderline" point, and my gondola might have a problem passing under the 38th Street bridge, I have been known to convince my passengers to move forward to the trastolini steps (allowing the ferro to fit under the bridge), and then moving them back to the main seat while I climb out to the back deck to weigh it down and press up against the bridge.
It's definitely a great moment to take an interesting photo. But I never seem to have my camera handy then.