Cuba Press on Swimmer’s Quest for USA

HAVANA TIMES, August 8 — US citizen Diana Nyad, 62, left last night from Havana on what she hopes will be a two and a half day journey to try and reach the Florida Keys swimming without the protection of a cage to guard from sharks.

Nyad tried the same feat – with a cage – back in 1978, and said in Havana before leaving that she feels in the best shape of her life.  At that time she tired and had to give up the effort after 76 iles in 42 hours.

Her start off point was at the Marina Hemingway on the west side of the Cuban capital, reported the official Granma newspaper.

Meanwhile, AP quotes Nyad as saying she plans to return to Cuba just days after completing her swim: “I will return here to Cuba, my favorite country, for a big party.”

“I want to break the existing record, swimming the 103 miles in 60 hours, depending on the ocean currents,” said Nyad.

Australian Susan Maroney, then 22, became the first and only person to cross the Florida Straight from Cuba, although she did it protected by a cage, notes Granma on Monday.