I wish I'd kept a tally. I wish I'd kept a score. A simple sheet of paper, or scratches under a floorboard. Ahh, but there are folks out there who are smarter than I am; guys like Roberto in New Orleans.
Of course, he has had some run-ins with hurricanes, but still, he has been smart enough to keep track of how many "big questions" were asked and answered on-board his gondola. and yesterday, Nola Gondola hosted number five hundred!
Congrats to the happy couple, and an even bigger congrats to Roberto - on such a great milestone.
So much of what I post here is either from daytime or around sunset. Of course we tend to have more cruises at those times. But when people ask me about my favorite time, I tell them that I loe to be out late in the evening - when the winds have calmed, and there's nobody else out on the water. Here's a photo I took tonight from the back of my boat.
A while back I had the good fortune of having a writer aboard my gondola. She was writing a piece for Alaska Beyond Magazine - the in-flight magazine for Alaska Airlines. We had a wonderful time, and she wrote a nice piece about her experience here in Newport.
We sent in a decent collection of photos for them to choose from, and they chose a photo with one of my favorite gondoliers: Stefano. (Yes, that Stefano - the guy I wrote about in my post "Marathon Man" )
photo by S.E. Atkins
To read the article (and see a much better quality photo), go to the online version of the magazine: http://www.paradigmcg.com/digitaleditions/abm-0318/html5/ and go to page 144, Or better yet, hop on an Alaska Airlines flight, take a much needed vacation, and enjoy the magazine in the seat pouch in front of you.
On Saturday the 17th of February, Mark of Gondola Paradiso in Oxnard was able to snap this photo of gondolier Josh Sopp - rowing the only batela west of the Atlantic. Josh rowed for many years at the Gondola Company of Newport. He was actually one of the guys who trained Mark Schooling so many years ago. Josh moved into another career category, but always missed rowing. We all got a surprise visit from Josh when he showed up at the most recent US Gondola Nationals in Huntington Harbour. During that re-connection, he and Mark got to talking about rowing. Next thing you know, Josh is back on a boat. He got to pilot several cruises on both Valentine's Day and the Saturday that followed. Here are a few more shots:
Look at those crisp white pants on V-Day. Looking good, Josh!
Last moth I posted photos of an exceptionally beautiful gondola in Oakland. When Angelino and I were rolling her back into the building, she hadn't been in the water yet since she was sea-trialed in Venezia. He mentioned that he might launch her in time for cruises on Valentine's Day. Looks like he did. Here are the photos to prove it.
Ready and waiting at the dock in front of the Lake Chalet.
I stood on the dock in Newport this evening and watched as several gondoliers rowed off into uncertain conditions. It had been cool and blustery, then the clouds made their entrance. At one point some raindrops came down, but it was way better than it could have been.
Mike Olsen rows a boat that he recently restored.
John Kerschbaum of Minnesota enjoys non-frozen waters.
Without question, nearly every single gondola operation in the U.S. is the best kept secret in the city.
It's not that we want it that way. It's just that we operate silent black boats in the dark. Thanks to Sea Magazine, Sunset Gondola in Huntington Harbour has a bit more visibility since the February edition was released. Click here to see a digital version. He's on page 63 and 64.
video by Nereo Zane When you hear about processions on the Grand Canal, you might expect serious things. You might expect traditional pomp and circumstance. but when it comes to Carneval, you would be surprised. Recently a bunch of crazy Venetians (the very best kind) got together, dressed themselves up, and rowed their various craft down the Canalazzo - to the thrill and encouragement of a multitude of onlookers. All in clear but rather cold conditions.
I've included the video clip here, but I recommend going to this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX-JQEX48NI&feature=youtu.be and bringing it up to full screen.
I've watched it all the way through several times, and there are lots of fun things worth pointing out.
All views are from the GSVVM batela (themed out this year as “the Mickey Mouse boat” for fairly obvious reasons)
It doesn’t happen very often, but now and then they actually
shut down the Grand Canal for an event.
In this case it was for the rowing procession of clubs- all dressed up in some sort of costume or
Here's my play-by-play.
quite likely you will find other fun stuff as you watch.
rows in sestina.
01:10The big red
and white peata “The Brentana” makes her entrance.