SAN DIEGO, September 1, 2013 – The weather and the jellyfish are cooperating so far with endurance swimming champion Diana Nyad’s fifth attempt to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Florida.
Now well into her second day of swimming, Nyad’s support team reports via her Facebook page she is swimming steadily, making good progress. Navigator John Bartlett reported Nyad has covered 38.18 statute miles after 24 hours, averaging 1.6 miles per hour. “She’s right on the bullseye,” said Bartlett. “We are just approaching the strongest flow of the Gulfsteam about 15 miles ahead of us. At that point, the flow direction will change and that will help us big time. We’re trying to get into that position that we observed on the way over.”
Nyad was examined by physicians Sunday morning at 7:15 a.m. They reported her pulse is strong and her lungs are clear. Her shoulders are sore but not hurting so the doctors were not concerned. Nyad had been vomiting a bit overnight, but after the protective jellyfish mask was removed she had no more nausea. Doctors will check Nyad every two to three hours for the remainder of the swim.
The best news for Nyad and her team is making it through the first night with almost no sightings at all of the poisonous jellyfish that have bedeviled her on her previous attemtps. Bonnie Stoll, the head handler who has been with Nyad on every swim of this stage of her life, said via Nyad’s website, “This is the first time we’ve ever reached international waters without a crisis.”
Overnight, Nyad is following a red streamer in the water to keep her pointed in the correct direction. She became disoriented on a few occasions due to her protective gear which covers her head to toe. It leaves her unable to see or hear very well. Nyad did ask for an update on U.S. Open tennis and whether Rafael Nadal won his match. (He did).
If Nyad is successful this time in her fifth attempt, she expects to take about 80 hours to reach the Florida Keys, sometime Tuesday afternoon. She has now been in the water nearly 30 hours as of publication. Her attempt last year ended after 63 hours of swimming due to a strong storm. Nyad says this year the team will wait out any storms if at all possible.
You can follow Nyad’s attempt via her blog at DianaNyad.com, or on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Look for the hashtags #XtremeDream, #FearlessNyad, and #CubaToFlorida
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She writes on professional cycling and covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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