Actually, these photographs come from a small trip down Faversham Creek in just about the smallest imaginable boat that could be used by an adult with a pocket camera – a Mouseboat.
I think it also shows clearly why the Creek must be defended, and how much is has been affected by housing development. Surely, it’s time for the town to take a new, maritime activity-friendly approach. I so hope it does…
It turns out that Poole Harbour’s famous Pool canoes were not always flat-bottomed skiffs developed for use with a small outboard motor – in their earlier versions they were double ended rowing boats used for wildfowling.
There’s some interesting history about punt gunning here, including some stuff about the dangers of dealing with all that recoil when your boat is light and tiny, and the gunner is likely on their own, and some slightly disturbing stuff about ‘droppers’ and ‘cripples’ and ‘your man’ collecting the spoils.
PS – Retronaut has some good gun punt images here
PPS – And there’s a striking illustration of the power of these guns here. And no, it’s still not something I’d want to do.
I see from Bill’s Log that small boat cruiser and gentleman of the waves Bill Serjeant is spending a little time at Oare Creek and visiting Faversham, where he seems to be enjoying himself. Here’s his description of Oare Creek:
‘I alighted at the head of Oare Creek and ambled along the footpath where late Spring blossoms scented the air. I deeply breathed in and savoured the beauty of the countryside…
‘I was saddened to see so many forsaken yachts no longer cherished by their owners… but in between, snuggled into the mud awaiting the return of the tide there were the most glorious of sailing vessels, Thames barges and classic yachts of all kinds.’
He’s sailing a West Wight Potter these days – for many years he has taken a particular pleasure in changing boats regularly, often building the smaller ones himself. He has travelled over from Burnham and Leigh, hopes to make Ramsgate tomorrow before the wind rises later in the day. Great good luck Bill!