Methods of staying and moving in water.

How an army ought to cross rivers by swimming with air-bags ... How fishes swim [Footnote 2: Compare No. 821.]; of the way in which they jump out of the water, as may be seen with dolphins; and it seems a wonderful thing to make a leap from a thing which does not resist but slips away. Of the swimming of animals of a long form, such as eels and the like. Of the mode of swimming against currents and in the rapid falls of rivers. Of the mode of swimming of fishes of a round form. How it is that animals which have not long hind quartres cannot swim. How it is that all other animals which have feet with toes, know by nature how to swim, excepting man. In what way man ought to learn to swim. Of the way in which man may rest on the water. How man may protect himself against whirlpools or eddies in the water, which drag him down. How a man dragged to the bottom must seek the reflux which will throw him up from the depths. How he ought to move his arms. How to swim on his back. How he can and how he cannot stay under water unless he can hold his breath [13]. How by means of a certain machine many people may stay some time under water. How and why I do not describe my method of remaining under water, or how long I can stay without eating; and I do not publish nor divulge these by reason of the evil nature of men who would use them as means of destruction at the bottom of the sea, by sending ships to the bottom, and sinking them together with the men in them. And although I will impart others, there is no danger in them; because the mouth of the tube, by which you breathe, is above the water supported on bags or corks [19].

[Footnote: L. 13-19 will also be found in Vol. I No. 1.]

Taken from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci edited by Jean Paul Richter, 1880.

Notebooks of Leonoardo da Vinci
XVIII: Naval Warfare.--Mechanical Appliances.--Music.
The ship’s logs of Vitruvius, of Alberti and of Leonardo.
Methods of staying and moving in water.
On naval warfare.
The use of swimming belts.
On the gravity of water.
Diving apparatus and Skating.
On Flying machines.
Of mining.
Of Greek fire.
Of Music.
Of decorations.
. . .