Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Valentine's Day 2.0

 With the exception of Leap Year, Valentine's Day falls 
on a different day each year. 
If it falls on a Saturday, we know it's gonna be huge.  
But weekday V-Days are unpredictable. 
Often we experience a large flow of cruises on the weekend prior to the holiday, but that wasn't really the case this year.  
I believe there were too many people watching the Olympics. 
To our surprise, this year we had a very big Saturday...after the holiday. 
Our calendar on the 17th was booked up and it turned out to almost be a second V-Day for us in Newport.

 Simon began the day with a cruise on Stella,

 heading off into smooth water under sunny conditions.

 Jonah with a happy couple on the Contessa pupparin.

 John from Minnesota enjoying another day in California.

 I had the opportunity to row the Contessa as well.

Mike waves as he departs.

 It's not all about the rowing either.
Kalev shows how important it is to be able to 
take pictures with whatever the passengers hand you.

 Kyle waves under brilliant colored skies.

 Kalev at night.

 Popping that champagne cork.

 Eddie keeping things squared away between departures.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The New Boat in Oakland

photos by Angelino Sandri

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.

The Gondola Servizio dock in the background.
You can just see the stern of the sandolo 
peeking out from behind another gondola.

Lucky couple enjoying a cruise.

Returning to dock.

This is a remarkable boat.
If you haven't viewed photos of her in my earlier post, 
"It's All About the Wood" do so - it's worth your time.
The boat in these photos is actually moving to another location in Napa, but I think it was a fitting first-floating for her to host passengers on Lake Merritt.
Gondola Servizio has been actively cruising with passengers on this lake in Oakland since 1999.

Friday, February 16, 2018

V-Day 2018 in Newport

Here's a collection of images from Valentine's Day of 2018 here in Newport Harbor. I spent a lot of time running around, making sure things were in order, and rowing cruises as well.

If I'd just camped out with my Nikon, I'm sure I could have published a coffee table book of great photos - as there are so many things to point and shoot at.

 The morning started with a familiar sound of hammering.
Gary, Eddie, and Mike set their forcole with mallets and wedges.

The first boats departing with happy passengers.

Gary and I passed each other in the canals with Italian greetings.

 Mike arriving on the pupparin known as Contessa.

The Wedding Gondola awaits another couple.

A small one-of-a-kind gondola being rowed by Simon.

Simon returning with a tip of the hat.

As the day turned to evening, the sky was a brilliant display of color.

Another V-Day in the books.
We enjoyed beautiful weather, great brotherhood among gondoliers, 
and everyone who sat in a gondola had a wonderful time.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dramatic Sky Departures

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.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Bepi Venexiano in Sea Magazine

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.

The full issue, along with the second page of the article is here: