Swimmer Nyad Again Chases Cuba-Fla. Dream

62-year-old making 4th attempt at perilous swim

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 19, 2012 9:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is making her fourth attempt at completing the 103-mile, Cuba-to-Florida marathon swim that has eluded her in her 62 years. Nyad has thus far suffered several jellyfish stings—which ended her previous attempt last fall—but team members tweeted that she was plowing along steadily this morning, reports the AP. "Diana is swimming backstroke right now leading with the cap-covered part of her head to minimize contact," said one tweet. Sharks are also a concern, as are dangerous currents and weather shifts. Nyad would be the first to complete the swim without the assistance of a cage or a wetsuit.

Before jumping into the waters off Havana yesterday afternoon, Nyad waxed poetic about the journey. "I do enjoy, when I stop in the middle of the night and I see the stars, you start thinking out there," she said. "It becomes very metaphysical. ... You're tired and you've been having this metronomic stroke taking you into a different world, all of a sudden you're out there and you're thinking about the meaning of life and the grandeur of the universe and the mystery of it all."

Diana Nyad takes a break after reportedly being stung by a jellyfish Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, off Havana, Cuba.
Diana Nyad takes a break after reportedly being stung by a jellyfish Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, off Havana, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Diana Nyad via the Florida Keys News Bureau, Christi Barli)
Diana Nyad receives hydration and advice from her support team off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, during a 100-mile-plus swim.
Diana Nyad receives hydration and advice from her support team off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, during a 100-mile-plus swim.   (AP Photo/Diana Nyad, via the Florida Keys News Bureau, Christi Barli)
Diana Nyad gets set to jump into the water in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, to start a more-than-100-mile trip across the Florida Straits.
Diana Nyad gets set to jump into the water in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, to start a more-than-100-mile trip across the Florida Straits.   (AP Photo/ Diana Nyad via the Florida Keys News Bureau, Christi Barli)
Diana Nyad swims off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, as she begins a more than 100-mile trip across the Florida Straits.
Diana Nyad swims off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, as she begins a more than 100-mile trip across the Florida Straits.   (AP Photo/ Diana Nyad via the Florida Keys News Bureau, Christi Barli)
People carry a Cuban and a US flag to the coast to watch Diana Nyad start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.
People carry a Cuban and a US flag to the coast to watch Diana Nyad start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
US swimmer Diana Nyad, bottom, begins her swim to Florida from the waters off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.
US swimmer Diana Nyad, bottom, begins her swim to Florida from the waters off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
US swimmer Diana Nyad adjusts her swimming cap as a woman applies a protective ointment to her skin.
US swimmer Diana Nyad adjusts her swimming cap as a woman applies a protective ointment to her skin.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
US swimmer Diana Nyad jumps into the water to start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.
US swimmer Diana Nyad jumps into the water to start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
US swimmer Diana Nyad carries a trumpet before starting her swim in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.
US swimmer Diana Nyad carries a trumpet before starting her swim in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Diana Nyad starts her swim after jumping into the water off the coast of Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.
Diana Nyad starts her swim after jumping into the water off the coast of Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Diana Nyad announces her upcoming swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida, in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.
Diana Nyad announces her upcoming swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida, in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Diana Nyad shows one of the welts on her arm to reporters in Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 26, 2011.
Diana Nyad shows one of the welts on her arm to reporters in Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 26, 2011.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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