When we walked into the storage building to see the gondola in St. Petersburg, my family and I weren't sure what we would see...or how well we would see it.
The gondola was beautiful, and had a number of unique traits.
I shot a whole set of photos using a non-flash setting, but just to be sure, I also pulled out my external flash (which tends to blast out a whole room with each picture).
As promised, here are some of the better and more interesting images from that set.
The structure of this boat was sensible but strong.
On the back deck, I discovered a pontapied, or "pedana" of an unusual design - it seemed to angle back, and out to the side.
A close-up of the tail from below.
Dmitry surprised me when he removed a small section of the deck to reveal a well for an electric motor. As it turns out, this gondola was originally fitted with the motor - probably either to appease an inspector or to guarantee that the boat would be able to return home, even if she got caught in a current or wind.
As I talked with Dmitry about the motor, it sounded as if it might actually be a MinnKota. I also got the impression that it doesn't get used on the lake, and is just in storage.
A better view of the motor well.
More images of this vessel can be seen in my post "Гондола!" from May 10th, 2012.
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