Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Punting = More Difficult than Handcuffing Tigers

See that wooden pole firmly stuck into the sludge between the swans? That is the pole by which one steers a Punt down the River Cherwell. It is about twenty (well, nine) feet long and about fifty (well, twenty) pounds. It can be difficult to keep in your hands, though luckily this particular debacle came AFTER my stint as punter, so I could simply laugh and take photos.

Some rather adorable ducklings joined us. As well as some very aggressive bread-hunting ducks and two formidable swans that appeared to be attacking the boat several times. We may have been a bit paranoid though, as we were not exactly experienced punters.

While punting, one stands up on a little deck at the end of the boat. Simply place feet on slippery wooden boards and maneuver previously referred to endlessly long and heavy pole so that large unwieldy boat carrying six people glides gracefully down the river. Sounds simple, right?

We stopped for a picnic lunch in the University Parks. Sausages, bread, grapes, apricots, brie, and apricot-white chocolate chunk cookies. Mmmm. Which do you think was my contribution?

One of the ducks wanted to try punting. And all of the ducks wanted to try the picnic.

This is Caroline from France and Karoline from Germany, and between them perches Theo, Christine's chatty twelve year old who was hoping we'd get lost on the river so he'd miss his cello lesson at 5:30. Considering we left at 1, this would have been quite a task.

In the end, we successfully maneuvered about a half mile down the river and then all the way back. We even went a bit past the dock on the way up before turning round, just to show off our magnificence. It took just under three and a half hours, picnic included. And that's just our first time... think of the speed we might achieve in another attempt! It's safe to say much fun was had by all, with a little less fun had by Tom, who did most of the punting after I retired.

1 comment:

Chelsey Meek said...

What a great field trip!