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The Flying Crutchman takes a punt.

[PUNTING] Yep. New activity. I 'punted' -- I push poled -- a distance by driving myself forward with a barge pole. One of  those  10 foot barge pole (you wouldn't touch a something with)  thingies. Mine was a bamboo cane 2.7 metres long and I used it to push The Flying Crutchman about the waters.

 Beautiful conditions. Still Clear waters. Morning. Top of a low high tide. 

I was hoping to stand (as is the punting norm)  -- but decided that for now I'd learn how to use the big stick in the water before I started upright navigation.   The deck moves under me when I stand and I'm overboard before I get any distance. 

So pole technique first then the upright stance. 

I sat on the lip of my 'bathtub' hull  and the little extra height gave me better leverage than if I was on the deck and  lower. As I punted my technique improved. I was surprized how much control I had with a pole -- despite the fact it had no blade. I could turn and pull to the side , stop and rotate just by moving the pole in the water. Punting options improved as I got deeper because I then had more leverage under me with the pole.

So now my ability to get from point A to point B in the water is optional: paddling, sailing, towing or punting. Depending on conditions and preference.

While I am a bit sore now as the punt stroke is all engaging of the body and new muscle strenuous  -- I really enjoyed my pole dance upon the water. I had chats to those on shore as I passed because punting is unique to these waters. It's not speedy locomotion but you can generate a nice rhythm that is more comforting than the stroke of a paddle. You also get a nice view of the clear waters below you.  And a  nicer view if I was higher. 

A very expensive and very long sea kayak passed in the same direction as I  was traveling another 150 metres out to sea .  I was surprized how my speed measured compared to the big bucks that kayaker was paddling: low in the water, sleek, foot rudder and probably peddles... Maybe I was working harder? I have an underdog problem, you see.

Back home (over the last coupla days)  I did some more work on my combination rigging. I've trimmed back my sail to a true crab claw design; moderated my rear outriggers so that they portaged easier; cut myself a smoother and slightly longer pole....better to make my ride all ship shape and Bristol fashion.

Ready once again to  set off.


 

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