At the GSVVM rowing club, it's not that difficult to take a boat out.
Assuming you're a member, you just sign it out, get your remi & forcole, wheel it over to the hoist, and plop it in the water.
You've gotta make sure the hoist operator is there
(or BE a hoist operator yourself), but that's about it.
Wanna take a caorlina? You'll need a few more rowers - unless you've got a thing for rowing a big fat boat solo (and I know some guys who do).
So, as I was saying, it doesn't take much doing,
but there is one big exception:
And she is a big exception - she's more than fifty feet long,
and is meant to be rowed by 14 rowers - a "quattordesona".
Oh, and she's the pride of the club - don't breathe on her wrong.
So when it's time to take Mestrina out on the water, it's a bit of an event.
Here are a couple snaps and a video from our dear friend Nereo Zane from last weekend. It was Mestrina's first row of the new year.
The Mestrina was in the water for the annual "Prima Vogada dell'anno" (first row of the year), a visit to the old people's home St. Lorenzo in Venice.
Freshly launched with crew ready.
A rare sight: a quattordesona in a tight canal.
Usually the uniform includes a white beret with orange pom-pom,
but because it's winter, the team are all sporting dark blue berets with orange border and pom-poms
If you listen, you can hear the captain shout "Pope!" - which is how gondoliers often signal to each other that they are either coming around a corner or coming into view. Imagine the surprised look on the face of a gondolier coming around a corner to see this big desona!
Many thanks to Nereo for these views of one of my very favorite boats.