Thursday 21 August 2014

Sinking Feeling

Maybe I should have titled this post "the mysterious sinking punts of Provence," which is where we've been on holiday. In the delightful town of L'ille sur la Sorgue the river (the Sorgue) splits into five canals which formerly fed water mills and industry. Today the town provides tourists with waterside restaurants, antique shops and a hugely popular market at the weekend.

What was strange however was the almost universal practice of sinking punts in the canals, like the two examples above. Those were not in the minority and walking around the town it seemed like every punt we came across was doing a submarine impersonation. Like this one below, the waterside dinners seemed totally unconcerned that it might slip from view into the depths at any moment.

Not only punts, but this canoe was stored in the same way. Now I'm aware that old wooden craft need to keep wet in order to keep the seams tight, so maybe with the hot Provencal summer (32 degrees plus most days) keeping the boats submerged is the only way to prevent them drying out?


  1. It reminds me of my youth. Each year when the salmon boats would be painted and launched in prepararion for the coming season, many of the would be moored in the dock and then the plug would be taken out in order for the seams to tighten up again after a long winter of sitting ashore drying out. They would be left in this sunken state for about a week and thereafter they would be fine watertight vessels again.


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