Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Compare and contrast punting with sailing.

Chapter 15

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Jerome discusses punting, a type of rowing where the passenger stands up in the boat and propels it along using a long pole that is pushed against the riverbed. Punting is hazardous for beginners; J. describes a friend who was not paying attention and stepped off the boat, leaving himself clinging to the pole in the middle of the river as the boat drifted away.

On another occasion, J. and his friends noticed an amateur punter who could not keep control of his boat. Thinking it was someone they knew, they mercilessly mocked him until realizing that the man was actually a stranger. Harris once had a similar experience, when a stranger thought he was a friend and began roughhousing with him, holding his head under water.

J. concludes the chapter with a final anecdote about sailing on the river with his friend Hector. The men had trouble raising the sail, which was very tangled. They eventually ran the boat aground and decided to row back. However, they broke the oars in the process, and had to be towed.