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Pastime enjoyed by many leading a CambridgeLife, it was recently discovered that you can go punting while not even being in Cambridge, due to the wonders of VirtualPunting?.

Ahhh, punting.  One of the few things I'm better than average at in Cambridge, and one of the most enjoyable... Of course, the whole idea is kinda ridiculous.  Punts were invented as they seemed a far more silent way of sneaking up on the fenland ducks than rowing.  Anyone who has ever had a room over looking the Cam will agree with me that punting people are about as quiet as most student parties, except in a boat so without any nasty muffling walls.

Punting is great!  There are two ways to go punting [1], down through the colleges (AKA let's take the parents out for an hour of playing bumpercars with tourist punts) or up towards Granchester  (aka hmm, we're really not strong enough to get this up the rollers are we, but, err, we're kind of halfway there now and daren't let go... and Oh, have we lost the pole in the mud again?)  For the really intrepid, you can venture all the way to Byron's pool.  This doesn't really count as punting though, as the only way to make progress is to all lie flat in the punt and pull yourself forward on the ankle height branches towards the sound of the ever approaching weir.

I'd like to record my disagreement with this - it is perfectly possible to punt all the way to Byron's pool - I have done so (and after dark too, which made it harder!); you just have to be very careful to avoid both the overhanging branches *and* the very shallow bits of river... Emperor

How?  The river becomes as shallow as the punt, and the branches really are at about the height of the punters' ankles.  I've made a brave attempt at punting to Byron's Pool (and that was in the dark too) but there are bits where you just have to give up, get down and hope you come out the other side.  [not made easier by the hysterical girlies in the punt deciding I was about to punt them all over the weir they could hear.  Some people just don't understand the concept of "upriver"... they were only in danger of being punted *underneath* a weir, thus sinking the punt and leaving us all to the mercy of the eddy currents.  Explaining this at great length didn't help]

If you keep to the right (IIRC), then there is just enough channel for you to be able to take strokes most of the time, and you can then keep up enough momentum to float under the really doom branches. The difficulty is not running aground. Emperor

(PeterTaylor) I quite agree with Emperor, having punted to Byron's Pool at night-time thrice. Although I would add a second difficulty of not getting too close to the nettles.

Punting should be done with bare feet, trousers rolled up to the knees and a smile.  I suppose this page would be incomplete without a mention of BridgeHopping?, /BackseatPunters?, the /RopeSwing?s on the way to Grantchester, StrawberriesAndCream?, /TheRollers?, the NamesOfCollegePunts? and a whole host of other things.  But I ought to go and have breakfast...

[1] This view of life comes, I suppose, from living at QueensCollege, the best placed place to go punting in all Cambridge.  From MagdaleneCollege there is only one way to go punting really, and it's always upriver...

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Last edited November 11, 2003 3:53 pm (viewing revision 9, which is the newest) (diff)