5 Lessons Learned: Options

5 Lessons Learned: Options

Coracles: A Brief History Coracles have been around for thousands of years. Back then, they were covered with animal skins – which remains to be done in some parts of the world today. The earliest accounts of coracle history are from Julius Caesar who, while combating in Spain in 49 BC, ordered his men to make wickerwork boats wrapped with hides of a kind he had seen a few years back in Britain. In Wales, their skin is now made of calico, which is waterproofed with the use of a bitumastic paint. More particularly, coracles have been popular in the British Isles even before the Roman times. Even as their main uses are transport and fishing, there have been recorded accounts that they were also used for security as well as military purposes.
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There is proof that Wellington used them while campaigning in India. In the same country last year an Indian newspaper showed a photograph of an Indian coracle being used in the pursuit of a dangerous criminal. In the same country, there were reports of an Indian coracle being used to pursue a dangerous criminal.
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Coracles exist not just in the British Isles, Ireland and India, but in Vietnam and Tibet as well. Very recently, they were even sightings in Iraq, with some reports saying they are also being used in Norway and close to Chernobyl. For 150 years, coracles have not been seen in Scotland, but until almost the 1950s, Ireland was using them. Nowadays, however, they are mianly found in three West Walian rivers, including The Teifi, The Towy and the Taf. Here, they are typically used by net fishers, the net being held by two coracles running along with the current, pulling out a salmon or sewin at during restricted periods of the year. However, all of these coracles must be licensed. They’re getting scarcer and scarcer by the day. Conventional coracle makers are still on the Severn at Iron-Bridge and Shrewsbury. In their prime – towards the end of the last hundred years – more coracles could be seen on the River Severn compared to the numbers on any other river in the British Isles. Coracles are different from other river craft by their propulsion, weight and construction. Coracles are traditionally built with willow ar ash laths and have a covering made of calico or canvas with pitch and tar or bitumastic paint in more recent constructions. They weigh from 25 to 40 pounds and can be easily carried on the shoulders. A single paddle held in both hands is used to propel them with a figure of 8 movement. Fishermen make use of a similar stroke but only with one hand over the side of the craft, allowing the other hand to hold the net. The Coracle Society is actively promoting the preservation and protection of the tradition of old coracle makers and users, who are now getting very few.. The group is there as well to help produce a new generation of coracle builders.

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