Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

I have a belly button

Posted from Melrakkasletta Peninsula, Iceland at 10:45 pm, July 3rd, 2008

After re-reading the guidebook it turns out that the Langanges Peninsula is famous among mariners for its thick and persistent fog, so rather than wandering off into the morning mist I spent a couple of hours with the birds and the seas before turning back for fog-free lands. Once out of the fog banks the weather was good all day, and the scenery of Northern Iceland is tremendous – amidst lakes, hills and seascapes were birds including loons, whooper swans, red-throated divers, phalaropes, plovers, whimbrels, snipes, oystercatchers, eider ducks, harlequin ducks, gulls, jaegers, and numerous others that I couldn’t identify.

Amidst the nature and scenery the day’s main event involved another act of stupidity. It was my assumption that Iceland was located in the North Atlantic, but the Lonely Planet has been taunting me with two words – Arctic Ocean. If in fact Iceland really is in the North Atlantic and the book’s editors were merely playing a practical joke in the hopes that some fool would try to add another ocean to his swimming tally then congratulations to the editors, because they found their fool. Barring any mischief by the guidebook staff there are now four oceans that I’ve swum in, and surprisingly today’s soaking seemed ever-so-slightly warmer than the glacial dip a short time ago. In this case the water was unfortunately shallower so entry and exit took considerably more time and the brain was able to more strenuously argue its objections prior to the full dive into the freezing cold. Rod previously commented that he doesn’t get why I need to jump into cold water – luckily by definition irrational acts don’t have to make sense and it can be assumed that some sort of brain damage is the ultimate cause.

UPDATE: According to Wikipedia the northern part of Iceland does indeed touch the Arctic Ocean. Boo yah.

5 responses to “I have a belly button”

  1. Gautamiputra Satakarni took the titles of

    * Trisamudrapittoyvahana (one whose horses had drunk waters from 3 oceans)

    looks like you have beaten the man

    You should write a book Ryan. This journal is so much fun to read.

    1. glad you enjoy reading it, sir. i can, however, guarantee you that it is considerably more fun to do these many foolish things and then write about them than it is to read the stories. that is, with the possible exception of sleeping in the wondermobile – the fun factor of trying to fit a six foot frame into the back of a suzuki is not particularly high. the rest of the trip has been very, very good though.

    2. interestingly i just noticed that wikipedia lists the Southern Ocean as a separate entity, and states that whatever scientists decide these things have voted to make it a distinct region. in that case i can list FIVE oceans that i’ve swum in, which totally puts your horse guy to shame. i suggest he rename his horse “one whose horses are only half as good as ryan holliday”.

      1. I’m not sure that I “get it”, but I’m pretty sure that upon sight of a new ocean I too would feel the need to swim in it. My logic might be more intact though, which is way less fun. But damn man, that’s prolly like REALLY COLD.

        1. it wasn’t warm. there are some opportunities that are just too memorable to be missed, and despite being an utterly stupid thing to do, this was one of those moments that will be remembered for a very, very long time.

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