84 Art of Travel.
cross the broadest streams and float great distances down a river. He may tie paddles to his hands. His float may consist of a faggot of rushes, a log of wood, or any one of his empty water-vessels, whether barrels or bags ; for whatever will keep water in, will also keep it out. The small quantity of air, which might escape through the sides of a bag, should be restored by blowing afresh into it, during the voyage. A few yards of intestine blown out and tied here and there, so as to form so many watertight compartments, makes a capital swimming-belt : it may be wound in a figure of 8 round the neck and under the armpits. When employing empty bottles, they should be well corked and made fast under the armpits, or be stuffed within the shirt or jersey, and a belt tied round the waist below them, to keep them in place.
African Swimming Ferry.-The people of Yariba have a singular mode of transporting passengers across rivers and streams, when the violence and rapidity of their currents prevent them from using canoes with safety. The passenger
grasps the float
(see fig.), on the
top of which his
z= luggage is lash
ed; ed; and a perfect equilibrium
- is preserved, by
placing himself opposite the passenger, and laying hold of both his arms. They being thus face to face, the owner of the float propels it by striking with his legs. The natives use as their float two of their largest calabashes, cutting off their small ends, and joining the openings face to face, so as to form a large, hollow, watertight vessel.
Makeshift Life-belt.-A moderately effective life-belt may be made of holland, ticking, canvas, or similar materials, in the following manner, and might be used with advantage by the crew of a vessel aground some way from the mainland, who are about to swim for their lives:-Cut out two complete rings, of 16 inches outer diameter and 8 inches inner diameter; sew these together along both edges, with as fine
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