KEY WEST, Florida, August 29. DIANA Nyad swore that she would never attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida again after physical and natural obstacles halted her attempt this time last year, which was her fourth try to complete the swim.
But the water has called the 64-year-old again. And no matter what happens this is being called “The Final Attempt.” According to a post on her website, diananyad.com, she is headed to Cuba tomorrow to prep for the 103-mile swim that is expected to take 60-plus hours.
“The weather forecast, seemingly perfect as of yesterday, is now turning against us somewhat,” Nyad wrote on her website. “We will make final decisions once in Havana. On one hand, can’t cowboy it up and go out in something truly undoable. On other hand, if not ideal and promises to be a bear of duress and rough seas, going to put my head down and press through.”
The key element that has Nyad more confident that she can make the swim is the use of a special face mask that will protect her from jellyfish stings. Jellyfish colonies have been the main cause for Nyad’s distress in past attempts, though weather has also played a part in decisions to stop the swim. The mask, she said, makes breathing difficult, but will put her mind at ease when swimming.
No one has been able to swim from Havana to the Florida Keys without the aid of a shark tank. Earlier this summer, Australian Chloe McCardel attempted the swim but had stop when massive jellyfish stings caused unbearable pain.
Before departing for Cuba, Nyad posted this video from the shore in the Florida Keys where she hopes to land on her own steam: