In my days at MIT I was quite adept at punting. In fact, I punted so well that I had to take 8.03 twice. I punted Oxon-style for the first time yesterday and I think I've got the hang of that, too. It was pleasantly temperate yesterday and I had nothing much to do, so I joined Shailen, John B, and American Steve for a bit of punting at the Head of the River.
Much like MIT, any good day spent punting on the Isis involves drinking a bunch of beer. We featured some Stella, the rhythm and spirit of Jamaica, and some Pringles. John and Shailen took the first couple of turns doing the actual punting and I unwisely sat in a seat facing away from the place where you stand with the pole, so I gained absolutely no useful information about technique before I actually took my first turn. After crashing into other boaters and the shore several times I finally got the hang of how to push and then drag the pole in the water to steer. I also began to wonder what moron decided it was a good idea to steer a boat with a 15 foot pole instead of something sensible like a rudder.
The real beneficiary of my adventure is you, dear reader, as I'll be able to take you punting the next time you come to visit me in Oxford.
5 months ago