Friday, July 27, 2007
We went punting today! The river is pretty shallow near town so instead of gondolas, Cambridge has punts. About 6 people can ride in each long flat boat and the punter stands on a higher platform on the back end and uses a tall wooden pole to push off the bottom and down the river. Each boat has one small paddle for in case of an emergency. There's quite a bit of technique to it. They warn you that if your pole sticks, let go of it because if you don't, of course, your boat will keep moving and go right out from under you. The apparently happens quite often so Cambridge makes fun of their tourists for having wet sweaters from falling into the Cam. The poles float so if you let go, you can paddle back for it. There were six of us girls in our boat and I tried at punting second. The pole stuck and I am a good listener so I let go of it, but it didn't float, it stuck there like a flooded tree stump. We were about to go under a bridge, so I thought fast and grabbed onto it, pulled myself to a crumbling sidewalk, hurried across a tributary and got a little wet, climbed a fence, and hung over the bank to pull it out. The thing is awkwardly long so running it back to the boat was a funny feat. My boat had already gone under the bridge by the time I got back across the tributary so a nice girl up on the bridge let me pass it up to her while i climbed up and over the railing, then I ran through a private garden and jumped back onto the boat and kept going. It was pretty smooth really-haha. They didn't see it get stuck or me abandon the boat, so they just turned around and their punter was gone. That was probably a funny surprise.