Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Punting, anyone?

Originally posted last week, I've moved this to be in chronological order of the trip.

So - Lydia requested an explanation of punting. What -- haven't you heard of it? LOL

From Wikipedia:
A punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use in small rivers or other shallow water. Punting refers to boating in a punt. The punter generally propels the punt by pushing against the river bed with a pole. A punt should not be confused with a gondola, which is propelled with an oar rather than poled.

Punts were originally built as cargo boats or platforms for fowling and angling but in modern times their use is almost exclusively confined to pleasure trips on the rivers in the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge in England and races at a few summer regattas on the Thames.

In other words --

Wow - I just noticed that both of the really publicized boat houses are mentioned on that picture. Not only that, but the Magdalen Bridge one includes the tower that is, in fact, right there. Look below, you'll see it again.

Anyways, I always think of punting when I think of Oxford, for that is one of the things we did when I was 10 and living in the area for a few months. So I put it out to the group that those who were interested could meet at the boat house Sunday afternoon. As is typical, the brokies completely overran the place - they had seats for waiting punters for about a dozen people. We had like 30 show up.

Only, when it came time to divvying up the boats -- we had only 2 folks brave enough to try the punting - Ted and I - and only 8 interested in riding along. *shrugs* Perfect fit for 2 punts. (Actually another group went out, but they arrived late so went after we'd returned)

Ingmar, Mr. S, and Andy were total wusses and took a paddle boat out.

Dahlia's family took out a row boat... I think. They left after we did and while we were still in the chaos part of our trip, so I don't really know what they did!

The day was unbelievably clear blue and beautiful, but the wind was blowing briskly in areas. As I wanted to go the hard direction first, we tried turning upstream immediately from the dock. LOL! What a disaster that was. The current was determinedly pushing us down under the bridge. Ted hadn't actually been informed of the plan - so we both spent some time mucking about up there.

I eventually had to just walk to the other end of the punt (diving over/between my 4 passengers) and voila! We got it under control right after that. :-)

Getting into the quieter part of the river, it became much easier to steer and propel the boat, though both of us did spend a fair amount of time zig-zagging back and forth across the river. Close encounters were frequent...

And sometimes rather irksome! This might have been the rose bush incident, I'm not exactly sure.

Ted, looking good!

After teasing Ted all the way upstream, it was time to turn around and I let him approach our boat... and what do I get for that? He rammed me.

It was so much fun - and yes, much more fun going back down stream than the upstream leg!

The Punting Champs. Or as Dave has just dubbed this picture,
The Punting Queens.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the explanation and pictures of punting! LOL You and Ted were pretty brave to (wo)man the helm. It does NOT look easy and quite precarious to stand at the back of the boat - yikes! ~Lydia

6/25/08, 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous of the hidden punting abilities here. Just jealous in general, I think.

It looks like you guys had a wonderful time.


6/30/08, 9:55 PM  

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