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When Benjamin Franklin invented the KiteSwim.

lundi 8 octobre 2012, par Gérard Borvon

Dubourg, his good friend in France, was the recipient of many engaging letters from Franklin. Here the mature man looks back on his Massachusetts boyhood and recalls some of his first experiments and inventions.


To Barbeu Dubourg,

When i was a boy, I amuse myself one day with flying a paper kite ; and approaching the bank of a pond, which was near a mile broad, I tied the string to a stake, and the kite ascended to a very considerable height above the pond, while I was swimming.

In a little time, being desirous of amusing myself with my kite, and enjoying at the same time the pleasure of swimming, I returned ; and, loosing from the stake the string with the little stick which was fastened to it, went again into the water, where I found, that lying on my back and holding the stick in my hands, I was drawn along the surface of the water in a very agreeable manner.

Having then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond, to a place which I pointed out to him on the other side, I began to to cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the least fatigue, and withe the greatest pleasure imaginable.

I was only obliged occasionally to halt a little in my course, and resist its progress, when it appearedthat, by following too quick, I lowered the kite too much ; by doing which occasionally I made it rise again.

I have never since that time practised this singular mode of swimming, though I think it is not impossible to cross in this manner from Dover to Calais.

The packet-boat, however, is still preferable...

Crossing from Dover to Calais by KiteSwimming ? Why not ?

See also :

KiteSwim in the Garde Guerin (Brittania France) .

La Plage de la Garde Guerin en Bretagne.