Marking time in December 2017
Preparing to visit Africa
It has has been quite a year. Let’s hope the new year brings more delights than the old one. 2018 is shaping up well, with some interesting travels on the program—including a couple of weeks in Africa, a continent I have not set foot on (apart from the time I stepped ashore at Suez in 1966). The prospect of a trip turns my mind to the question of what to bring.
Which reminds me of Mr Stanley who also went to Africa. He carried with him…
… two different contrivances for crossing the lakes and rivers in that vast wilderness. One is of cedar, 40 ft long and 6 ft wide, divisible into portable sections, which was built for him by Mr J A Messenger, of Teddington, and which is the subject of two of our illustrations. The other is a raft, composed of inflatable indiarubber pontoon tubes, which rest transversely on three keels, with poles laid above the cylinders or tubes and lashed to the keels beneath; there is a triangular compartment fore and aft of the same depth, to form the bow and stern, This raft was made by Messrs J C Cording and Co, of Piccadilly, and is reported by Mr Stanley, in one of his published letters, to answer its purpose very well. It weighs altogether 300 lb, which can be divided into five loads of 60 lb each. The tubes are inflated by means of a pair of bellows. Their material is a very strong kind of twill, which promises to endure any amount of wear; but if it should need mending Mr Stanley has wherewithal to make it good.
—“Mr Stanley’s indiarubber pontoon raft,” Illustrated London news, 31 July 1875.
I hope I have sufficient wherewithal to enjoy my trip.