Tourist Stranded On Australian Island For Weeks By Giant Crocodile

We’ve all faced travel delays before, and things like strikes, bad weather and road closures can wreak havoc on the best-laid plans. But spare a thought for the tourist who found himself stranded on a remote Australian island for two weeks –- not because his flight was cancelled, but because a giant crocodile was eyeing him down.

New Zealander Ryan Blair had been visiting Governor Island in Western Australia on a kayaking trip when he became trapped by the large reptile. A boat had taken him to the isolated island and dropped him off so he could explore, but the kayaker soon realized he didn’t have enough food to last his visit. He tried swimming back to the mainland but was quickly stopped in his tracks by a 20-foot long crocodile.Although the mainland was only three miles away from the island, Blair couldn’t make the journey back without attracting the attention of the presumably hungry croc. After two weeks of repeatedly attempting the swim — as well as setting fires to attract the attention of passing boats — Blair was getting desperate.

“He was about four meters away from me, and I thought, ‘This is it,'” the kayaker told an Australian television station. “It was so close, and if this croc wanted to take me it would not have been an issue. I was scared for my life. I was hard-core praying for God to save me.”

It seems those prayers were heard because a boatman eventually spotted the 37-year-old and brought him to safety.

Olympics-Inspired Man Attempts To Swim Across Atlantic, Only Makes It 300 Yards From Shore

An unnamed British man was so inspired by the Olympics on Tuesday that he decided to attempt to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. He had planned to swim from Biarritz, France, where he was vacationing with friends, to New York City, saying he wanted to bring the “Olympic spirit” to America. He didn’t make it far, however, as lifeguards picked him up about 300 yards from shore, well short of the 3594 miles he would have needed to cover to reach his destination.

According to the Daily Mail, the 34-year-old man was vacationing with friends when he suddenly announced that he was setting off for America. His travel companions, thinking he was joking, watched as he immediately dove into the water and began swimming out into the ocean, continuing well past warning buoys that mark the limit for safe and legal swimming.

Those buoys are located about 300 yards from shore, which prompted lifeguards to scramble into action. A rescue helicopter was dispatched and a diver dropped into the water to convince the man to turn back. The headstrong Brit argued that he was a good swimmer and that he was capable of making an Atlantic crossing, but eventually he came to his senses and climbed aboard a small boat to return to shore.

Thankfully, the Olympics only come around once every four years. I’m not sure if this man’s friends and family could handle him getting inspired like this on a regular basis.

[Image courtesy the Daily Mail]

Photo of the Day: swimming in Thailand

WAHOO! Doesn’t today’s photo, by Flickr user halvora, make you want to take a running start and just jump in the water? Taken at a waterfall called Pala-U near the Thai resort town of Hua Hin, I love the image’s sense of movement and playfulness, the boy caught mid-leap, and its serene setting at a refreshing waterfall pool.

Taken any great photos during your own travels? Why not add them to the Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Play sports with the locals – International travel tip

When you travel abroad, it can be hard to meet locals, especially if you don’t know the language. But if you play a sport — soccer, swimming, football, even ultimate frisbee — then you have a head start.

Before you go, search the internet for a tournament or scheduled practice. Chances are you’ll find a welcoming crowd, whether you’re traveling to Bogata, Prague, or Morocco. Join a friendly game of soccer. Show up for a master’s swim practice. Find a frisbee tournament in the town you’re visiting. Almost every large city internationally has a Hash House Harriers club. Jumping in will give you a workout — and an instant link to local culture.

RELATED: Road trip tip: “Frolf” away the fidgets

Hollywood Roosevelt pool comes alive at night

When is a pool more than just a pool? When you’re staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles. Continuing Gadling’s Hotel Month coverage, I’m here to tell you about how the Hollywood Roosevelt has taken their gorgeous pool space and turned it into a hot spot for evening activities. Since most hotels don’t allow for night swimming, I was confused when I was told about the Hollywood Roosevelt’s rich schedule of events by the pool. But silly me, I assumed that all you can do at the pool is swim. One should never assume, and the Hollywood Roosevelt’s calendar of events taught me that lesson.

Perhaps the coolest event at the Hollywood Roosevelt’s pool is Movie Monday. Every week, a different celebrity or filmmaker hosts a viewing. A large screen is set up poolside and, after the sun sets, the fun starts. The featured host shares explains to the attendees why they have selected that movie and why its so special to them. Then everyone cozies up enjoys the film. Something about having the sky above and palm trees all around you makes a multiplex seem unnecessary.

Tuesdays are swim nights. Yes, one night a week the hotel allows night swimming. Resident and guest DJs provide the soundtrack while people frolic in the romantically lit pool.

On Thursday, guests can scope out the scene at Hollywoodland: the hotel’s weekly homage to old Hollywood. As you drink poolside, music plays and synchronized swimmers perform. While the rest of LA attempts to be trendy, the Hollywood Roosevelt harkens back to a classier time in the town’s history.

On the weekends, the pool provides the scenery for patrons at the Tropicana, the hotel’s outdoor bar. Wednesday’s are left open for events and private parties.

It seems as if there’s always something going on at the Hollywood Roosevelt’s pool. You could start your day basking in the sun and end it watching a movie, taking a dip or just drinking the night away. The next morning you’ll realize that you never left the pool. And you’ll be OK with that.