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The reality of punting in Oxford

Posted on April 11, 2011 by Tom
Magdalen Bridge Boathouse | Punting | 4 Comments
I had my first Oxford punting trip of the season on Saturday. After the rendezvous in Christchurch Meadow and a glass or two of Pimm's, it was on to Magdalen Bridge Boathouse and a brief dispute over who was going to punt us off in front of the gathered crowd (I lost). There's a widely held misconception that punting in Oxford (or anywhere else for that matter) is a relaxing way to while away a sunny afternoon. I can only guess that this ill-founded notion is spread by the lucky folk in the middle of the punt, sitting on their comfortable cushions and quaffing ice-cream. Have you ever had the feeling that everyone on the bank was looking at you? **Newsflash: They are!** The Isis is just a well-dressed stage and as pole bearer, you're the star of the show. But is it a comedy or a tragedy? Well, that’s down to you and your ability to control a boat with no keel and no rudder. Oh, and you’ve got to do it standing up and under the influence of fruity cocktails. Take it from me, if you find yourself tempted by the romantic of allure of an afternoon of punting in Oxford, don’t be the poor soul left holding the pole. Punting in Oxford - more stressful than it looks!

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My advise .......wear your
by Lo
My advise .......wear your best summer dress and get the men to do the hard work whilst you relax, snapping the chaos whilst sipping on Pimms
OK, a question from someone
by Stephen MacLean
OK, a question from someone who's obviously never gone punting: Do poles easily become stuck at the bottom--unbalancing the punter (?) and potentially unsettling him/her into the water--or is this just a whimsical mishap for television?
The poles don't really get
by Tom
The poles don't really get stuck in the mud but it is normal to feel a small amount of resistance from the suction of the mud as the pole is raised - sometimes that's all you need to lose balance.
Thanks for the update. I
by Stephen MacLean
Thanks for the update. I daresay it would be a challenge for me simply to keep my balance at all!
 
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