ADVENTURE's Oddventure columnist, Jim Thornton, has crossed the Bering Strait on a Sea-Doo, set his own personal land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and allowed himself to be dumped overboard into the tempestuous Pacific as part of U.S. Coast Guard a training exercise.
In his latest attempt to illuminate the bizarre underbelly of adventure, Jim tested an electrical shark repellent, the SharkPOD, by swimming with blacknoses and tigers off the Bahamas. "I saw small fish intrepidly swimming around and thought, Well, if they’re not afraid, then why should I be?"
Jim escaped with all appendages intact, somewhat to his dismay: "I wanted to at least get grazed, just a little scar so I'd never have to buy another beer in a bar.'
Now our fearless columnist is seeking new, even weirder ideas to test his mettle. So send Jim the wildest and oddest Oddventure you can think of.
The Oddventure That Wasn't
While gearing up for an Oddventurea 50-mile [81-kilometer] swim from Miami to Boynton Beach, FloridaJim got some nerve-racking news from shark specialists. News that eventually killed the assignment.
Listen in as "Jimbo" loses his cool on Executive Editor Mark Jannot's voice mail.
Message 1: "Two Pieces of Jimbo"
Marky boy, this is Jim, who is still in possession of his feet...I just interviewed the director of the international shark attack files at the University of Florida...He is very convinced that I should swim in a shark cage.
The mako is famous for...roaring straight up and just biting you in half with its razor-sharp recursive teeth. It happens so fast you can't see it...and pretty soon there are two pieces of Jimbo floating around...So please, give me a call.
Message 2: "Call MeWhile I Have Feet."
Mark, Jimbo here. Why don't I just ask you to glance down...and see if you still have feet. It's probably not something you worry about.
It looks like I actually might become a footnote in the history...I'm going to try to track down one [shark cage] that's been used by another distance swimmer from Australia, if it hasn't been disassembled...Please, Mark, call mewhile I have feet.
Message 3: "I'll Just Have to Wing It..."
Hey Mark, Jim again. The shark cage that I was hoping to be able to borrow is in Cuba. So the guy is going to look around, he doesn't think there are any other ones that are suitable for swimming, because they have to be pretty big...Possibly I'll just have to wing it and hope to keep my feet...Anyway, I still want to talk.
Photograph by Tim Calver