Saturday, August 27, 2011

Report from Boston - Hurricane Preparations

I awoke this morning to begin my day.
As I turned on the news, the first thing I saw scrolling across the screen was :Cape Hatteras orders more body bags for Hurricane Irene".

I thought about my friends in Virginia Beach as I had just spoken with them yesterday and the storm is heading toward them.
Then I checked my e-mail and received this report from Joe and Steve in Boston.

Hi Greg

Hope you are well!

With the approaching hurricane I thought this may be a good time to address it on your blog.

After completing a dozen tours last night in perfect conditions

Steve and I had to come to the reality that we need to start making preparation for what may or may not be a storm that could cause serious damage to our gondolas. It was about midnight when our last tour came in, so after rowing a bunch of tours feeling tired, we decided that our 2 gondolas would remain on the river tied to our mooring float. Needless to say all the furniture, floor boards, ornaments, carpets, and anything that could float away needed to be removed and stored safely. Our SUVs were packed to the Max.

"The girls" as we call the Maria and Fierenza now sit naked at their mooring, coverless, as you can imagine the covers would be the first to rip and take flight when winds get up over 70 miles per hour. Extra bumpers and some strategic additional ropes and we were finally on our way home at 2:30am this morning. Now just a prayer and a bit of luck and we will be back in business in the days ahead.

Anyone here on the East coast should know the damage that these storms can create. Our good friend Robert Dula can certainly testify to this. The attached photos show some of the damage to his Bella Mae after Hurricane Katrina.

In planning your approach as to how and what you will do with your gondolas when faced with this situation, you usually have some options. Getting your gondola out of the water and having a secure {preferably indoor place} is no doubt the best. Sinking the gondola and weighing her down with sand bags is the option we would choose if this storm was predicted to be a category 2 or above. Here in Boston it will be a category 1 or less. Sinking the gondola worked well during hurricane Ivan in Florida about 6 years ago. One thing we would never suggest to any gondola operator is to remove your boat and leave her resting outdoors unsecured where the winds of these storms can easily take them airborne. The potential is also there for trees, limbs and other flying debris to come crashing into your most prized possession!! Your gondola could also float away! Several years back in New Orleans, there was an eccentric collector of unique things, Yes, he owned a Venetian Gondola and left his gondola unsecured on land during a violent hurricane, This boat was beautiful!! The storm carried his gondola about 3 miles from the owners facility and it was severely damaged and stripped of its contents. It was retrieved from a low income housing project and brought back to life by another gondola enthusiast!

We felt by leaving our boats on the mooring , Naked,in safe harbor with extra bumpers and ropes was our best option for this Hurricane Irene!! Risk, Risk, Risk is something all of us know a little about as gondola enthusiasts. Wish us Luck.


Joe and Steve

Thanks for the report, dear friends.
Keep safe, and remember that as much as we love these boats, they can be replaced.  Friends and family members can't.
You will certainly be in the thoughts and prayers of all of us.

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