If Mary is traveling 4 mph

heading downstream on a river that is flowing at 1 mph, how fast is her canoe actually going?

If Jack is traveling 4 mph heading upstream on a river that is flowing at 1 mph, how fast is his canoe actually going?

Trick Question…
In both cases they are still only going 4 mph, but, relative to the land, Mary is going 5 mph, and Jack is going 3 mph.

Even more of a trick . . . .
Depends on what is telling Mary and Jack what their speed is. If it’s a GPS, it doesn’t matter what the water’s doing, they going 4 mph.

When will Mary and Jack meet?

Ask Nanci! NM

Even more of a trick
How much effect is the current having on the canoe? In my kayak, I can face upstream and not move while the water courses past me.


is anyone there to see them?

Is that kind of a tree-in-the-woods

Not a trick question
but not very well worded…if the GPS says the canoe is moving downstream at 4 mph, but at a standstill the GPS says the river is 1 mph, then is the canoe only actually being paddled at a speed of 3 mph, and aided by the river gets the GPS reading up to 4 mph?

Your point about sitting in the current with your bow upstream may only be happening if you paddle to maintain position, or if you’re in an eddy or on a slick spot. Otherwise your boat will be drifting downstream at the same speed of the current.

who’s Nanci?


I don’t know, but…
…I have a feeling her and jack and mary are up to some pretty kinky stuff

The one with the boots

– Last Updated: Jun-28-07 1:59 PM EST –

made for walking, and that's what she's going to do...

(OK - so why is she in a canoe?)

Um, sorry, but no. My paddle is not in the water, I’m in the middle of very fast moving water (or slow moving, doesn’t matter) and when I look at the shore, I’m not moving. Now if my bow comes the slightest bit off the current, I start moving backwards but not til then.

Is their speed being measured
over water or over land?

Or in their minds?

Even longer of a trick
But not if you try to stay in the same place for an hour or more without using your paddle

Unless the paddler and the canoe are travelling at different rates, which has happened to me a time or two. You said the are travelling at 4MPH, not that they are paddling at 4MPH.

  • Big D

The question is?
Are Mary and Jack in their boats?

Simple trick question. Good try! The answer is stated in the first few words telling you their speed. The river’s speed doesn’t matter.

When a policeman gives you a ticket for speeding does the wind’s speed make a difference? If so tell the judge you were doing the speed limit and the wind was blowing you the extra 15 mph…then pay the fine.

sure it matters
she didn’t say how they were measured, or in relation to what.

Think outside of the box soldier!