This past Friday the 13th was very unlucky for one guy in Boston.
Joe Gibbons of Gondola di Venezia writes:
Hey Greg, Here's a crazy one for your blog.
Last Friday night , that is Friday the 13th of September 2013.
After bailing out twice from 2 very heavy downpours, I departed
from our mooring dock with Maria, the newer of our 2 gondolas.
Its about a 4 to 6 minute row to our boarding dock. I left the covers on Firenza our 2nd gondola ,just in case another down pour!
After tying up Maria safely , setting up her furniture,
and tiding her up, I once again rowed our little row boat back out to the mooring dock to retrieve Firenza.
WOW!! what a shock I got.
As I approached the gondola, I could see my stern covers pulled away and as I got even closer a man's head peeked out by the divan. Someone was rummaging through our boat, with the secure ropes partially untied and 2 oars set up by the divan
(I guess he thought he could row it like a row boat).
My first fear was that this crazy guy ,no kid, this guy was probably about 50 years old and looked like a psycho!
My fear was that he would swamp my row boat,
I would have a physical confrontation in the water and someone would never be rowing this gondola again.
Common sense took over and I kept my distance, called State Police and proceeded about 50 yards away to get my motor boat.
My adrenaline was pumping, I felt like I could really hurt this guy if I chose to. Common sense said, Joe (me) he has no boat other than the gondola, he either has to row real fast or jump in and swim real fast.
He did neither! The State Police were on site in 2 minutes and with my trusty little Boston Whaler, I escorted the trooper out to my mooring float and watched with a very satisfying grin while this jerk was cuffed and arrested for grand theft larceny. Just another night rowing gondolas. 15 minutes after the arrest, Firenza was once again entertaining and plying the canals of The Esplanade.
Steve and I are considering getting our girl (Firenza) some therapy, she was violated and it's not right. Any suggestions?
PS: for those wondering if we lock our gondolas, the answer is yes. Our mooring float is about 100 yards from shore and we lock and cable at the end of every shift. The fear has always been that some big motor boater that left a big wake and got a tongue lashing from one of our gondoliers, would seek revenge!
Having been to that operation and seen the mooring platform,
I can imagine exactly how it looked as it played out.
Thanks for the report, Joe.
Glad you were able to keep a clear head during all of the madness.
What an adventure.
I think your boat needs a buff and wax, a good bit of primping, followed by an outing with family members. I think red wine, strong ale, the best pizza you can muster, and chocolate will make the boat (and everyone else) feel a lot better.
If that's not sufficient, I might suggest a full re-christening, complete with prosecco, a full meal, gondolier friends flown in from all over, and of course a Catholic priest.
I think I'm not alone when I say:
please find out what the heck was going through that guy's mind, and give us an update.
Funny thing about this whole attempted theft - if he'd succeeded, you'd have gotten the boat back pretty quickly...because one of us gondola operators would be approached with a used gondola for sale!