Semester at Sea Meant Swimming Her Way Around the World

Elaine Leeder (Dean Emerita) is an avid swimmer and found an opportunity to experience swimming pools cross culturally while on her Fall, 2013 voyage on Semester at Sea. This piece was previously published in News From the Helm, an online publication of the Institute of Shipboard Education.

Some people like to shop their way around the world. I prefer to experience ports by swimming and finding pools in as many ports as I can. This solution has served me well in more than 24 ports and three voyages (S’92, S’99, F’13) and accommodates my swimming obsession. It is also my way of having a cross-cultural experience in the countries that we’ve visited on Semester at Sea.

For example, at a hotel, in Mahabalapurim, India, during the Spring 1999 round-the-world voyage, I found a small pool at a hotel. I quickly made my way out there and was greeted by orange peels in the water. I could not tell why they were there, but I was undeterred, fishing them out and diving in for my swim. Others around me looked at me as if I were crazy, but I knew this was an experience I would never forget. A dozen local folks watching me swim applauded when I got out of the pool. I was touched by their kindness and generosity of spirit. The experience of such welcome spurred me on to try other places. Read full story here.

PHOTO: Prof. Elaine Leeder has sailed on three SAS voyages and has found her way to pools in many of the countries she’s visited. She also has swum in the MV Explorer’s pool (pictured here) using swim bands. (Photo by SAS photographer Bryan Koop)