Diana Nyad's epic swim

MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member
edited September 2013 in Cheering Section
With all due respect for my fellow forum members, there's a little too much acid in the other thread ('Here we go again...') on Diana's swim to my taste, so I'd like to start a real cheering thread for this incredible attempt and this amazing lady.
Last update on her website said she can see the lights of Key West, and she has been swimming for an incredible 43 hours already. If anybody has a more privileged access to information, please post it here.
Go Diana!


  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Well put Milko. Truly an amazing feat
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I woke up so excited for her! She still has about 5km left, but the approach to the Keys is not easy. They estimate an arrival time of between 2-4pm.
  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member
    Doctor's report just posted http://www.diananyad.com/blog/doctor-report-715am. Her spirit seems unbroken, but just imagine the physical torture she is going through.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Seems like 1km left to go! I bet the crowd on shore is going wild.

    I, too, would like some suspicions about the speed to be laid to rest, but having swum with and against strong currents, I know they can make a big difference in speed.
  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member
    bruck wrote:
    I don't think a little skepticism about the current swim is unfair or mean, given the dubious circumstances and reporting of her previous swims.


    Then the marathon swimming community can evaluate the claims and the evidence, and decide whether we believe her.

    I have no problem with a little skepticism, and would like to see some clarifications as well. But I was simply getting tired with the less than respectful tone of some of the contributions on what I consider a great and very inspiring marathon swimmer.

    Fine to mention the clarifications we all want, but can we please focus now on the surreal achievement of this 64-year old and generously give her the credit that she deserves?
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I was elated the entire day. Diana's achievement inspired me to do an extra-long workout at Aquatic Park. And, today was my first day at SERC, which meant I got a good shower and sauna stint, and didn't have to head home shivering and miserable. Everyone was lovely at the club; Diana was the talk of the day, for the enthusiasts and cynics alike. What a great sport this is, and how fun to have the rest of humanity share our craziness and enthusiasm for a day!
  • WoW! Just saw this on the web so I went here to see. its true! 64 years old..What a achivement! This is going to charge up alot of seniors and get people in the swim for sure. Way to Go Diana. I know there are Channel rules and all that but the one whos first writes the book!

  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Not getting much love here Milko :) . But we all agree to disagree, right.
    Whilst there are many things that could have been done better/differrently, the bottomline for me is that it was simply a great achievement, also taking her previous attempts into account. Steve Muntanes wrote two good articles about it today in the DN of OWS and I'm very much with him on both.
    If 107m or 52h+ of swimming isn't good enough for giving her credit I don't know what could be.

  • My sincere and heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Nyad. Regardless of the details, this was an amazing athletic feat, the likes of which we may not see again in our lifetimes by someone in their 60's. I hope that the details get ironed out to everyone's satisfaction.


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    I also congratulate her!

    I will add that already 3 people from work have asked me what I thought of the swim. Also, on the radio this morning, the DJ was talking about her swim. He mentioned that last time she failed due to jellyfish but "she didn't have to worry about jellyfish this time" with no explanation what he meant by that. ;)

    Again, and seriously, incredible. I hope to have the perseverance that she has when I'm 64.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • I am in such awe of what Diana just achieved. It gives me hope that even at my age, I can progress beyond my little biddy 2-miler swims.

    As a definite OW debutante and a former language major, I tend to read things in an overly literal fashion. Therefore I wonder: Why would English Channel rules apply beyond the English Channel? Doesn't the environment dictate the rules for swimming a given competition? I am thinking from a pure realistic viewpoint but also maybe some kind of basic safety--whatever that means in an extreme-type sport competition :)? Like for example, hiking in the French Alps calls for a different preparation, training approach, tools than say, hiking in the Sahara desert?
  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    A very sensible comment Calypso, expressing exactly what I have been thinking. That is why DN's various anti-jellyfish measures don't bother me, as these box jellyfish stings can be life threatening, unlike in the EC and the North Channel, where Lion's Manes jellyfish stings are, as I can say from experience since last Summer, extremely painful and annoying, but not (as far as I know) potentially lethal. I honestly don't care if a crew member has rubbed anti-jelly cream on her face during the swim, as it doesn't make the swim in the least bit less impressive in my view.

    Having said that, there needs to be more clarity than there has been on other rules that might help speed and/or endurance such as touching the boat, and getting on and off the boat in case of (thunder) storms, and a number of other questions raised on this forum, which are legitimate and are asked by somebody with a big heart for the sport and its practitioners. I just hope that DN and her PR team are smart and will soon come forward and make sure these boxes are ticked too.

    The one thing I, and I think almost anybody else, would consider outright cheating is being towed by the boat. (Which is also why we don't like shark cages, which were ot meant to cheat but which do have a big impact on speed.) But I cannot imagine she would do that, or that an entire team of 35 people would acquiesce and remain silent on that. Anybody claiming such a thing will have to come with evidence, not insinuations.
  • calypsocalypso Member
    edited September 2013
    Congrats on your recent swim, Milko! That sounds amazing and scary at the same time.

    So, does it mean that Diana's swim was indeed sanctioned by a recognized worldwide organization with set rules? Or was this (as I assumed it was) a pioneering expedition, an "adventure" enterprise of some sort, with no precedent that could serve as a reference for rules to follow? If it's the latter, I can see where it can create disagreements because it's left to anyone's interpretation. And it seems no one would be wrong or right, really.

    Anyway, I am totally "psyched" by anyone swimming 100+ miles, with or w/o major help. This makes me srsly want to up my game when I hear that! No excuse :D
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member
    Diana Nyad's swim is truly epic and getting excellent publicity for our crazy little sport including this side piece on National Geo's site titled "Greatest Swims: Five Epic Swims in the Wake of Nyad’s Feat" http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130903-diana-nyad-long-distance-swims-english-channel-byron-shark-cage/?google_editors_picks=true I wonder, did Captain Webb have a sanctioning body? or because he was first did that set the traditions for the sanctioning organizations that followed? All in her blog and the various news outlets have been quite transparent on the equipment she used and her process. Since she is the first without a shark cage, maybe it will be her traditions the yet to be born "The Straits of Florida Swimming Association" will follow.
  • LynnkubLynnkub Charter Mem​ber
    Wow...a 12 minute feed? That is truly epic:

    Feeds during marathon swim that I have observed take in the 10-30 second range. She must have set some kind of record for that?
  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member
    A 3-course meal & a good chat about the weather. Long swims can be boring.
  • Everything I have read regarding Captain Webbs swim, suggest he was lead out of the water or clambering through the shallows into a cart with a rug around his shoulders. That would disqualify us. But who cares?.....Diana's little ways to make her swim successful will have broken EC rules but they don't bother me. It's the swimming bit that counts and I recognise the absolute need for a stinger suit.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Haydn wrote:
    But who cares?.....Diana's little ways to make her swim successful will have broken EC rules but they don't bother me. It's the swimming bit that counts and I recognise the absolute need for a stinger suit.
    It is frustrating that this misunderstanding continues to persist. If you read the discussions carefully, you'll notice that the concern is NOT with her swim costume & other minor deviations from Channel Rules.

    The concern is whether she actually did the swim as claimed - nonstop and unassisted. Did she get on the boat, or was she towed by it? How is it biologically possible to go 7.5 hours without feeding or drinking, after she's already been "swimming" for more than 35 hours, and reported to be "throwing up everything she eats" ?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Forgot to mention: Shortly before her superhuman 7.5-hour fast, her crew made the following report:

    At 38 hours into the swim, 11 p.m. at night, winds rose suddenly reaching 23 knots twenty minutes later. At that time, the Nyad team went into squall protocol to bring the kayakers out of the water...

    So, Force 6 winds. After 38 hours of swimming. And she then proceeded to go without feeds for 7.5 hours.
  • Hm... That last bit is a bit puzzling. I know so little about weather or other specific conditions to be able to comprehend (can't wait to read Lynn Cox's book :)!) In all candidness, I'm tempted to give Diana the benefit of the doubt. I guess there's something about her perseverance that I admire and want to believe in.
  • MandaiMandai Charter Member

    Admittedly, the frustrating part is really that all we can do is speculate about what happened and hope that light will be shed on some Qs from DN or her team.
    As for the long "fast" (again, we don't know if she didn't eat/drink in between)...in the ultra-scene (runnning or tri) you will find many people that have gone thru countless hours of "fasting" b/c of upset stomach and/or exhaustion. Running a marathon on no drink or food is no problem if you are well-trained. Doing a double, can be done, certainly it's tough. We all know that the body can take a lot.
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    edited September 2013
  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DEMember
    I've tried to stay as neutral as possible on this topic as I strongly believe that the core of open water swimming comes from the passion from jumping in and having the time of your life and helping to inspire others in the process. Penny Palfrey has long been a living legend in my book ever since I started marathon swimming and I have the utmost respect for Chloe McCardel because of the respect she gives this sport/community; as a whole, I believe we all are very encouraging in the marathon swimming world and deep down we all want to see our sport open doors and attract others to be inspired and want to experience a newfound joy themselves. To publicly slander your competitors is utter distaste (as seen in the Seattle Times article above and first brought to my attention by Chloe's FB post) and a little of my stock in Diana Nyad has just dropped. Call me a traitor (as a fellow American) if I support the endeavors of everyone in the marathon swimming community regardless of race, religion, or nationality! Live your dream but don't try to deflate those of others in the process!
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    edited September 2013
  • wow :(
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    After reading the article jc referred to, I have a lot of disjointed thoughts on this whole thing:

    - Swimming 53 hours (assuming she did so the whole time) is impressive, regardless of who you are
    - While I understand that the use of the full body suit and silicone mask is not traditional, I don't think I have a huge problem with that, especially after her previous attempts were abandoned because of the jellyfish
    - There is a lot of data that is suspicious, and needs to be explained be explained by her team. It's possible that she got a favorable current, but I am suspicions of that. I also have an incredibly hard time believing that she didn't take any feeds for 7+ hours.
    - I don't understand how one can get cold in 86 degree water. I know she was out there a long time, but I still have a hard time believing that.
    - Any time the media and the public collectively rush to a universal opinion on something or someone, I grow skeptical. There are plenty of examples of this, one of which has been cited by one of our admins in one of these threads. I understand that the story of a 64 year old woman undertaking such an intense physical feat is very inspirational, but given what her team unintentionally revealed about previous unsuccessful attempts, I have a hard time accepting this claim at face value. Even moreso when the suspicious data is uncovered.

    Any devisive figure like Diana Nyad, Lance Armstrong, the President, whoever, is going to stir up heated emotional debate. That, to me, is what we are seeing here. I'll cop to the accusation of me being cynical, but I'd like to see a more thorough set of information before we start lauding this as potentially one of the greatest swims ever, or potentially one of the larger frauds of the year.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I don't know Diana personally, and I don't have the kind of history with her that some forum members do. And I can see, having read the article, why some would feel very uncomfortable about her words about Penny and Chloe's efforts. Reading that article must've stung quite a bit, given how much we root for each other's efforts in the community.

    That said, there's another way to read the article. What I read are the words of a fallible, flawed human, admitting to having a shadow self and being obsessed with this swim even as she knows and acknowledges her sentiments are unreasonable and "no one owns the ocean." Admitting that weakness is exposing a great deal of vulnerability, and I didn't read a word of disparagement or disrespect for others. Granted, Penny's way of handling this was more graceful.

    But there's something about that comment that exposes the degree to which this swim mattered to Diana. You know, we all care a lot about our swims, put a lot of thought and planning and training (including long hours in the pool) to succeed, and lean on family members and friends to make these things happen. And it's something we really, really love to do. I love my sport a great deal. But I am not my sport, in the same way that I am not my job, or my education, or my other accomplishments. It's almost heartwrenching to read her admission that, to her, this swim was almost part of her core identity to the point that it exposed her shadow self. I'm glad she got what she wanted, and I hope she will find satisfaction and acceptance in the achievement and in other people and things.
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    Ironic how on her website she celebrates and encourages us all to go for our dreams. I guess she should have qualified that whole idea---she didn't mean everyone.
  • Hey MvG - thanks for starting this thread. I had only seen the anti-Nyad posts before seeing this one, and to be honest, I have never much cared for conspiracy theories. There seems to be a lot of people that just don't want to give Diana her due. I have been with her on 3 of her attempts... the first 2 times as a kayak team member, and this successful attempt, as her kayak team Captain. The nay-sayers can cry in their beers all they want... I just don't CARE. Diana NEVER touched the boat, or the kayaks, and NEVER received support from her handlers, medical personnel, shark divers, or kayakers. Her suit had no positive flotation, and as a matter of fact, it hindered her swimming... she hated wearing it, and especially hated the mask. But she knew, as Chloe MacArdle did NOT, that it was a necessary step in order to complete this swim. That's why Chloe failed after 11 hours, and Diana finished in just under 53. Penny Palfrey did an AWESOME swim last year, but ran into some unfavorable currents, and ran out of time. If Penny tries again, and has favorable currents, and also protects herself from those horrific stings, then I have every confidence that she will make it as well. Maybe she will even beat Diana's speed. But she will have a few years to go, before she can TRULY beat Diana's swim at age 64.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    I have been with her on 3 of her attempts... the first 2 times as a kayak team member, and this successful attempt, as her kayak team Captain. The nay-sayers can cry in their beers all they want... I just don't CARE. Diana NEVER touched the boat
    Given there's video of her clearly grabbing hold of a boat during a feed on last year's attempt, your claim of "NEVER" is not particularly credible.
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    How dare you @evmo. You've both sullied this positive thread AND questioned DN and one of her crew. tsk tsk.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • firebahfirebah Charter Member
    edited September 2013
    To Woodkayaker - how can you say she NEVER received support from her handlers when they themselves have said they applied sunscreen to her body and helped her into her stinger suit (not to mention there is photo/video of this taking place)? In any other swim this would stop the swim once the swimmer had been touched. We accept that for this swim that was not the case but it is and always will be an 'assisted' swim for that purpose. Being intentionally touched is one of the biggest taboos in open water marathon swimming. Be careful when using the words NEVER and ALWAYS as they usually come back to bite you in the end...
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    @Woodkayaker- welcome. I saw your initial post while I was out and thought. Wow, great. Someone from Diana’s crew here, and willing to clear up some of the confusion and answer questions. I looked forward to coming home and catching up with what I missed while I was out. Not really happy to discover that in a few short hours the discussion has turned a bit adversarial. Please, don’t judge the forum on a few comments that may have crossed the line of civility. While I personally know only a few members here, they are all good people, most quite accomplished and knowledgeable in this sport and yes passionate about their rules. It can appear off-putting from the outside, I agree.

    Fact: about a month ago I contacted the administrators of this forum about what I myself perceived to be personal attacks on Diana. Evan can confirm this. While I had never met Diana, I would say that she was someone who I found to be an amazing athlete and person. She was an inspiration for me personally as an older woman entering the sport of open water. I followed her on Facebook, signed up for her 7 Day Reboot program and even was considering travelling up to NYC to have the opportunity to swim with this living legend. I was so excited to cheer her on in last attempt at her extreme dream. I say this to let you know that Diana has fans here on this forum. So trust me, there are many people not commenting who want to hear what you have to say.

    As you all probably saw, I am now one of the ones who question certain aspects of her swim. There are simply things that do not make sense to me. Woodkayaker- We realize you can only respond to questions related to your responsibilities as a member of Diana’s team. Is there anyone reading this who has access to others who were present during Diana’s crossing? FB friend? Relative? Friend of a friend? We are a small community and somebody must know someone. And should we get others on here who can speak to what they saw, please we need to let them talk. We have a pretty comprehensive list of questions to be addressed. Follow-up questions and comments should be respectful. Listen. Process what you hear. More info---better. When the talk turns ugly, people shut down, and really, can you blame them?

    So here is my question: Diana seemed to be taking unusually long feeds according to posted updates and was wearing gear that slowed her down and caused her to swallow a lot of salt water which exacerbated her vomiting. With that and rough seas at 38 hours, Diana said she was pretty much sick the whole way. With circumstances such as those, how was she able to maintain a pace far in excess of her typical speed in what I saw on maps and a video of her pilot referring to how they navigated through a cross current, not a south to north push?
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    I looked at how to split latter comments in this thread and merge them into the other thread, to pay due respect to the varying opinions of everyone involved, to try to keep this thread as the Congratulations thread, and the other as the Questions thread, but can't really see how to do this without losing the continuity or aim of member's comments and questions.


  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member
    I looked at how to split latter comments in this thread and merge them into the other thread, to pay due respect to the varying opinions of everyone involved, to try to keep this thread as the Congratulations thread, and the other as the Questions thread, but can't really see how to do this without losing the continuity or aim of member's comments and questions.

    @loneswimmer: don't bother trying to square that circle as far as I am concerned... I started the Epic swim thread just to get away from some in my view too person-focused reactions. But the debate on both threads has evolved ( as have my own views on things, I must admit...) and has become much more factual, with a number of truly excellent analytical contributions. It has mostly become the debate I hoped we would be having. I am moving over and back to the Questions thread.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Same here. I like the factual questions without the ad-hominem snark.
  • smithsmith Member
    edited October 2013
    timsroot wrote:
    - Swimming 53 hours (assuming she did so the whole time) is impressive, regardless of who you are
    Indeed, although we really aren't 100% sure what happened during those 53 hours, I am actually looking forward to the 48 hour pool swim in NYC. It's more than likely that more transparency will exist. Even a 12-16 hour pool swim is extremely impressive. 48 hours is something only a very rare human being can pull off.

    Keep moving forward.

  • I disagree. I believe many of us can swim 12-16 hours and have done so many times. Many have swam 24 hour pool swims......simply because its a whole day. Maybe many of us have never swam 48 hours because ........ I guess we just stopped at 24. I reckon 48 hours is rare only because it hasn't been attempted much and has nothing to do with having to be a rare human being to pull it off. I reckon we could pick out a dozen or so swimmers from this forum, all who would love the chance to join Diana for a two day swim, and all would be ordinary people like me.

    I guess that perhaps most swimmers would think swimming 48 hours would be of little value to their training because most don't have 100 mile swims to train for. I suppose what I am saying is that, even if I take 24 hours for my Channel swim next week, I won't naturally think of it as a springboard for longer swims. So I won't normally be looking for 48 hour sessions in the coming months. 48 hour swims are rare because most of us have no use for them, not because we 'ordinary' swimmers can't pull it off.

    Having said that, I might not complete my Channel swim. But you cannot compare even 10 hours in the Channel with 24 in the pool. 24 in the pool is easier. If Diana can swim 100 miles in the ocean, her 48 hour pool swim will feel like a swim down.

    Oh, nearly forgot........I'm gonna be a grandad.......
  • Excellent points. To be sure, even if she's going at a turtle's pace of 1.5 miles per hour, she's going to travel 72 miles, or 126,720 yards (sorry...I'm American and train in a 25 yard pool). Indeed, extremely different than open water, but still extraordinary. Naturally, the main issue is.....the rules. Feeds should not be taken while hanging on the side of the pool, and she should never be allowed to touch the bottom of the pool until the swim ends. Anything less automatically ends the swim or results in a dq.

    Keep moving forward.

  • I think you will find (in a pool swim), she will stand in the shallow end for feeds and take the accepted 5 minutes over them. So will swim 48 x 55 minute swims with a 5 minute interval and this will be accepted as non stop. She won't be expected to tread water for feeds. As long as her mind is in the right place, the swimming will be 'easy'. But I fear she will struggle mentally, and not be at peace, in part because of her anger (if she is angry) over the controversy surrounding her Cuba swims. It will be a tough for her.
  • You might very well be 100 percent accurate. We'll have to wait and see. Best of luck with your upcoming swim!!

    Keep moving forward.

  • calypsocalypso Member
    edited September 2013
    @Smith.. Just a bit of humor here: per National Geographic "..Sea turtles can move through the water at speeds of up to 15 mi (24 km) per hour.."*
    b^_^d! I can't help visualizing, Squirt, the cool "surfer dude" turtle who rides the East Australian current with Nemo. lol :)!
    @Haydn, all the best for your channel crossing. Hope you brushed up on your French so you can order your "p'tit café" and croissant when you reach the other side.
    .. Oh, and congrats on the upcoming new addition to your family. A grandpa who crosses the channel? How cool will this baby think that is, when he grows up!
    *caveat: this fact is totally unverified ;)
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