Our ship had sailed into Oslo, Norway last summer. I had the opportunity to visit a couple of museums that I have long wanted to see. One was the Thor Hyerdahl museum, with the Kon Tiki. The other museum had three excavated Viking ships, along with tons of artifacts. It was a wonderful day, and the other thing I wanted to do was to swim in the sea in Oslo.
By the time I got back to the ship there was precious little time left to find a place to swim. Then I noticed a chain ladder going about ten feet down to the water, about 100 yards from the ship. It went down a concrete wall. This would be my big chance. With my friend (and photographer) Pat Smith watching, I started to climb down the chain ladder. About five feet down, there was no more concrete wall, and my feet went under the wall, with me dangling on the chain ladder, my butt sticking out.
There was nothing to do but to drop down into the water. The temperature was about 55 F. I swam about 200 yards from the ladder, with Pat Smith recording it for posterity. Then I swam back to the chain ladder. I will tell you that it took me about six chin-ups to get to where the ladder met the wall again. But I got my swim and I got a little tale to tell. Maybe next time I will swim in the ship’s tiny pool.