Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last days of summer ...

This lovely picture, previously unknown to me, was forwarded by Harry Spitz, a fellow kayaker at the Downtown Boathouse. Actually, Harry is a kayaker extraordinaire, in contrast to the piker that I am. I saw him on Saturday afternoon, returning from an outing, wearing a dry suit of course. He even builds his own kayaks, Eskimo style. Harry is also an artist, as can be seen on his blog.

Here in Manhattan the water temperature today is 53 degrees, actually warmer than the air temperature (as I write) of 48. If we have a day of 70 degrees, which could happen before the end of the month, I hope get out for a paddle, wearing my wet suit. We are reaching the point, however, when one has to wear a dry suit, usually when the water temperature is 55.

The lady in this painting by French Realist artist Gustave Courbet, from 1865, is seated on a "podoscaphe." On page 108 of Velocipedes, Bicycles, and Tricycles by David Glasgow Velox, one learns that the podoscaphe is a marine velocipede, vélocipède marin in French. (This book, originally published in 1869, has been recently reprinted and is said to be an "unusual book [that] will appeal greatly to all who are interested in the history and manufacture of the bicycle.")

Picture credit: Ricci Art

No comments: