A stout pole used to fend a vessel from the shore in order that a falling river will not let her catch out. In olden days steamboats carried spars lashed upright on their forecastles, used to pry the vessels off bars they may have run on to. Alongside such spars was a similar pole called the derrick used as a boom pole to handle the spar.
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Note: Phyllis does not book day excursions.