see it clearly

A few years ago two friends took a trip up a river in a canoe. The stream is nearly a mile wide and quite shallow, so it goes without saying that if there was any breeze blowing they were sure of getting their share of it. After ten hours' paddling rapids were encountered, and they had to make a portage to a parallel canal nearby. The first night they slept in the woods with the canoe for a bed and a large canvas coverall for a shelter. They simply hung it from a line that ran the length of the boat, dog-tent fashion. Imagine a carpet doubled over a clothesline, with each edge resting on the ground and held three feet apart by means of small stakes.

Canoe Stunt

The next day they went five miles on the canal and made a portage back to the river. Then a thunder-storm accompanied by a deluge of nice wet summer rain dampened their plans and themselves. This time they took refuge under an old bridge and used their canvas to curtain off the angry weather. After the rain they cast away all excess baggage, such as bait and spoiled lunch, and started for home. Although it was summer the river was choppy, and a strong gusty wind lashed them from behind. Again they requisitioned the canvas. This time they made it into a square sail as shown in the picture. For a mast or upright stick they used a fish pole, simply holding it as firm as possible, as in Fig. 3. Branches cut from a tree served as the cross-arms at top and bottom.

One of the friends sitting at the stern used the paddle as a rudder. The trip home was made in just one-half the time it took to paddle up. When they arrived at the park from which they had started not one boat was to be seen braving the elements, and much was the surprise of hundreds of owners of small craft to think that they had nerve enough to venture out in a canoe. With no effort at all they made from seven to nine miles an hour. Don't neglect to take along a big canvas. As the old sailor says: "It's useful for anything from swaddling clothes to winding sheet."