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- Healthful Sports for Boys - 6/25 -
have been used with good effect, and cheese, if it can be kept on the hook, is eagerly swallowed, in bottom fishing, by carp and catfish. When I was a boy we used to string our catches, through the gills, on a cut switch, but if it can be had, a fish basket is better.
should be considered. This is of every variety, from the bent pin fastened to a string, and the string fastened to a stick, which most of us began with, up to the elaborate and costly rods, reels and flies of the wealthy sportsmen. Boys, who seldom use reels, will find the bamboo, which is sold cheap, the lightest and strongest rod for general use.
Hooks are of endless size and variety, as are fishing lines. These must be bought with regard to the kind of fish they are to be used on, and of these, boys on the ground are the best judges. But let me urge this: When the fishing season is over do not throw your pole, line and hooks carelessly to one side, but clean them, wrap them, and put them away in safety for another season. The boy who does not take good care of the tools that give him pleasure is making a bad preparation for the serious business of life. Summer [Blank Page]
HINTS ABOUT BOATING AND CANOEING
The following rhyme was thought to be very funny when I was a boy:
"Mother, dear, may I go in to swim? Yes, my lovely daughter; Hang your clothes on a hickory limb, But don't go near the water."
I must reserve for "Swimming" a good long chapter, but let me say in all seriousness, before writing anything about boating, that every boy should learn to swim before he undertakes to manage a boat, or even to handle a raft. It is surprising at what an early age this most essential art is acquired, and once learned, it is never forgotten.
It is better, if you are going a-boating, not to wear your Sunday-go- to-meeting clothes. Any old clothes will do, provided they are not too heavy. Shoes are always in the way, more particularly if you should be sent splashing overboard.
A bathing suit, good for a swim or a row, can be made from an old undershirt, with the sleeves cut short. An old pair of drawers, cut off at the knees and hemmed will do, and these can be fastened to the shirt by a light belt or buttons.
Of course, in such a rig as I have described, you are pretty sure to get sunburned to start off with, and I need not tell you that there is no fun about that. Now, if you stand the exposure for about an hour and then cover up, and the next day try an hour and a half, and so on, the skin will turn at first to a light pink and gradually pass to a brown, without the slightest pain or inconvenience. Or if you begin by covering the exposed parts with sweet oil, vaseline, lard, or mutton tallow, without salt, you will not suffer from sunburn.
As I have said, learn to swim, but in the event of a capsize, even if you can swim, stick to your boat or canoe till help comes, unless you should be so close to the shore as to be quite sure of reaching it, and even then it is best to tow the boat along.
Every canoe should be provided with cork life preservers. They are cheap and can be used as seats, if placed in the bottom.
Every boy, whether living by an inland stream, where a boat can be used, or at the seashore, should know the names of the different parts of boats. Here is a short definition of the terms that may be of use:
The Bow is the front end of the boat.
The Stern is the rear end.
Fore'ard means toward the bow.
Aft, toward the stern.
The hull is the part of the boat without masts, spars, oars, or rigging.
The keel, like the runner of a skate, runs along the center of the bottom of the boat. It keeps a boat under sail from sliding sideways.
Starboard is the right-hand side of the boat as you face the bow.
Port is the left-hand side, looking in the same direction.
After dark ships and boats carry a red light at the bow on the port side, and a green light on the starboard.
The Rudder is a movable piece of board at the stern, by means of which the craft is steered. It is worked by a lever, ropes, or a wheel. The lever is called "the tiller."
The Helm is that part of the machinery you grasp when steering.
The Deck is the roof of the hull.
The Center Board is an adjustable keel that can be lowered or raised at pleasure.
The Masts are upright poles to support the rigging and sails.
The Yards are poles hung on the masts at right angles to them, from which the sails hang when in use, and on which they are furled or folded when not in use.
The Boom is the movable spar at the bottom of the sail.
The Gaff is the pole or spar for spreading the top or head of the sail.
The Sail is really a canvas kite fastened to the boat.
The Bowsprit is the stick projecting from the bow.
The Rigging consists of the ropes attached to masts and bowsprit.
Stays are strong ropes for supporting the masts fore and aft.
Shrouds are strong supporting ropes reaching from the masts to the sides of the boat.
Ratlines are little ropes fastened to the shrouds by which sailors may climb up or down.
The painter is a rope at the bow, used to fasten small boats as a halter fastens a horse.
Windward means the side of the boat against which the wind blows.
Leeward, opposite side to windward.
Ballast weights of stone, iron or bags of sand used to balance the boat. A good way to learn about the parts of a boat is to whittle out a small working model. This is a help, but only the actual experience can teach you how to manage a sail and at the same time steer the boat. Of course, you can learn this for yourself, but the better way is to serve an apprenticeship to some more experienced companion.
The first essential to a sail boat is that it should be well made and properly balanced. The second, that it should be carefully rigged, and the third that the man in charge should know just how to avail himself of these advantages.
Sailing before the wind is easy enough. It is in tacking and beating up against the wind that skill and care are required. Jibing, that is changing the boom and sail when tacking, requires the greatest care, particularly if the wind is stiff, and beginners should never be permitted to attempt it.
Where the water is apt to be rough, the sail of every boat should be provided with reefing points--that is little ropes. They are on both sides of the sail. The sail is rolled up from the bottom and tied down to the boom. This is called "reefing" or "shortening" sail.
At nights small boats and canoes should carry lights, as before indicated. It is a difficult thing to make a sailor through books. The best that can be done is to advise what to do, and still more, _what not to do._
Don't overload the boat.
Don't carry too much sail.
Don't trust yourself alone in strange waters.
Don't leave your anchor at home.
Don't forget your oars.
Don't sit on the gunwale-the edge of the boat.
Don't alter course too suddenly.
Don't let go the helm for an instant.
Don't mistake caution for cowardice.
Don't be afraid to reef.
Don't let your gear get snarled.
Don't jibe in a stiff wind.
Don't get rattled.
Don't sail with "fool" companions.
Of course, there are many other "don'ts" that will suggest themselves to the sensible boy; among them, "Don't fail to keep your boat pumped out or bailed," and "don't forget to carry an anchor of some sort,"
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