Saturday, November 7, 2009

S. Moisè - Leap of Faith

While the two gondoliers from yesterday's post conclude their conversation and the one in the red stripes does a little indietro rowing of his own, another gondolier executes a move many of us have done.
It's a move I never thought I'd capture in a snapshot.
As the gondolier needs to get to the front of his boat, he has few options that don't involve either damaging things, stepping on things, or acrobatics.
The answer - acrobatics.
So he takes a sort of one-handed-hurdle.

And for those of you who might be wondering...
he landed it perfectly.


INGO said...

This is a practice I often do, when there is only a short landing stage to take up passengers and no chance to go from pope to prua outside. its to be don quickly to tie up before barca trifts off (like here). Then same way back beside passengers. Once i sliped on brasscorner and fall between reed and boardline,so I had to swimm to prua. Passengers saw first my capello coming longside,then I grobed out to stage green dirty and dripping wet. A great joke for all.

Gondola Greg said...

Great comment Ingo.
Remember that there are two kinds of gondoliers:
Those who have fallen in the water,
and those who are going to fall in.

Nereo said...

if you have not yet fallen in the water you aren't a gondolier, eheheheh

Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

A while ago there was a National Geographic TV special on the new Macau clone of Las Vegas' Venetian casino. The managers hiring gondoliers were not interested if the applicant was male or female, could sing or row, was handsome or not.

The only thing they wanted to see is the candidate should be able to climb onto the gondola poppa without assistance and get back to work after being pushed overboard.

Gondola Greg said...

I'm not surprised about the male-or-female thing, but the singing and looking good parts are fairly important to The Venetian here in Las Vegas. Both casinos (Vegas and Macao) are owned by the same company. I know a few guys who were in the first group of gondoliers at the Las Vegas operation. What you are talking about is called the "swim test", which has been talked about quite a bit among boat operators there. It wasn't so important that they be able to swim (it's shallow enough in most places there for a person to stand), it had more to do with getting back on the boat.
I'm not sure why that was so important, after all, they could just pull the boat to the stairs, step up the stairs, and get back on the poppa that way.

Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

If you have more spectacular swimming stories, why not share them?

(I consider it an urban legend, but one local Venice guidebook cites a young gondolier who got so occupied tour-guiding his passengers and pointing out all the famous buildings, he got face-planted by a low bridge arc...)

Otherwise, that excellent gondola hurdle image could be used to promote athletic vault jump and help the recently announced effort to win the 2020 Olympic Games for Veneto province!