And all the river down to Staines is dotted with small craft and boats and tiny coracles
- which last are growing out of favour now, and are used only by the poorer folk.
I had not then seen a coracle, such as the ancient Britons made, but I have seen one since, and I can give you no fairer idea of Ben Gunn's boat than by saying it was like the first and the worst coracle ever made by man.
And when, at last, I shouldered the coracle and groped my way stumblingly out of the hollow where I had supped, there were but two points visible on the whole anchorage.
The ebb had already run some time, and I had to wade through a long belt of swampy sand, where I sank several times above the ankle, before I came to the edge of the retreating water, and wading a little way in, with some strength and dexterity, set my coracle, keel downwards, on the surface.
And that night, the moon being full, and all the birds asleep, he did enter his coracle
(as Master Francis Pretty would have said) and depart out of the island.
have been used to net salmon and sewin on the rivers of Wales for at least two thousand years - are Welsh Assembly members prepared to allow this most ancient and unique part of our Welsh heritage to disappear forever because of a short-sighted solution to a difficult conservation problem.
Shortly after this legislation the spring salmon by-laws were introduced which prevented the capture of salmon until June 10, which in turn meant that the salmon season for coracles
was restricted to June and July.
If stocks are decreasing then should not all licences for coracles
or anglers be restricted until such time as the position improves?
Fishing with nets from coracles
now takes place on just three Welsh rivers, the Towy, the Taf, and the Teifi.
Any government with basic common sense or respect would be trying to encourage the return of the coracles
to the other rivers from which they have been driven by greed.
They will form the coracles
roof, as part of the pounds 110m Bluestone holiday complex project, which could bring 900 jobs to the county.
It was really interesting finding out what the coracles
were used for and I loved building them.