Marked by canals completed in the 1600’s to bring commerce from the Mediterranean into the south of France, we arrive into the seaport of Sète to find jousting by gondola, a sport that dates to at least the 12th Century. Spectators line the canal and hang from the closest bridge as announcers from a viewing stand call out the matches. The gondolas have an extended stinger, on the end of which, perched on a very small square, is a sailor armed with only a padded shield and a long wooden lance. Below him on either side of the stinger are several sailors, and below them is a band of pipe and drum players. As a match is announced, the band rallies adrenaline as oarsmen expertly maneuver the gondola, the goal to place the gondola in position for the jouster to knock off the opposition. Following a festival the prior weekend, the jousting continues during our weekend stay, with sailors converging in the canal-strewned bars laughing and playing their pipes long into the night. As dusk falls at the end of the weekend, the champion jouster and his team parade through the tight street of rue Frederic Mistral. To hear the sound poem Jousting Season, go to: http://redroom.com/member/jane-p-perry/media/audio/jousting-season . Later that evening, sleepless, post espresso, I listen out my bedroom window: http://redroom.com/member/jane-p-perry/media/audio/mediterranean-post-expresso .