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Rafts and Boats.


canvas tent-the inside of which they had puddled with clay, to keep the water from oozing through too fast. They were eighteen hours afloat in this crazy craft. I mention this instance, to show how almost anything will make a boat. Canvas saturated with grease or oil is waterproof, and painted canvas is at first an excellent covering for a boat, but it soon becomes rotten.

Canoe of Reeds or Vegetable Fibre.-A canoe may be made

of reeds, rushes, or the light inner bark of trees. Either of these materials is bound into three long faggots, pointed at one end : these are placed side by side and lashed together,

Fig. I.   Fig. 2.

and the result is a serviceable vessel, of the appearance fig. 1, and section as fig. 2. The Lake Titicaca, which lies far above the limit of trees, is navigated by boats made of rushes, and carrying sails woven of rushes also. Little boats are sometimes made of twigs, and are then plastered both inside and outside with clay, but they are very leaky.

Hide Tray.-This is a good contrivance ; and if the hide be smoked (see " Hides ") after it is set, it is vastly improved. In its simplest form, Peruvian travellers describe it as a dish or tray, consisting of a dry hide pinched up at the four corners, and each corner secured with a thorn. The preferable plan is to make eyelet-holes round its rim, and pass a thong through, drawing it pretty close : the tray is kept in shape, by sticks put inside and athwart its bottom.

Coracle and Skin Punt.-If a traveller has one hide only at his disposal he should make a coracle, if he has two, a punt. This last is a really useful boat ; one in which very great distances of river may be descended with safety, and much luggage taken. Hide boats are very light, since the weight of a bullock's skin only averages 45 lbs. ; but, unless well greased, they soon rot. When taken out of the water, they should be laid bottom upwards to dry. To make a proper and substantial coracle, a dozen or more osier or other wands must be