You can punt for yourself and your party, or you can have one of the professionals from the punting companies do it for you.
The trick is to drop the pole vertically right by the side of the punt and then push, and the punt will move straight forward. Often I see people punting who are not trained. They drop the pole way to the side, which causes the punt to describe a circle, getting nowhere.
Also, roll up your sleeves, because the pole will be wet and your hands and arms will get wet.
These punts on the river Cam are passing beneath the Bridge of Sighs at St John’s College in Cambridge, mentioned in the last post with a shot from inside the bridge.
I worked on this second photo, of punts moored on the Cam down by the weir, to produce this impression.
The dictionary of etymology says that the word sigh dates to the 1200s and is probably echoic of the sound of the act of sighing.
The name of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice was said by Lord Byron to originate in the sigh given by convicts seeing their last view of Venice as they crossed the bridge to their summary execution in the time of the inquisition.
But in fact not, because by the time the bridge was built the inquisition was long over and there were no more summary executions.
The Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge is a covered bridge at St John’s College, Cambridge University. It was built in 1831 and crosses the River Cam between the college’s Third Court and New Court.
It has nothing in common architecturally with that in Venice, save that both are covered and so the one echoes the other.