Shark Almost Swallows Diver

July 24, 2011 by staff 

Shark Almost Swallows DiverShark Almost Swallows Diver, At any time, Diana Nyad set out to do something no athlete has done: swimming all day and all night then all day and all night, every day again. She swims about 60 hours in the churning sea, 103 miles across the Florida Straits from Cuba to Key West. Every hour and a half stops to tread water for a few minutes while you swallow a liquid mixture of predigested protein and eats some bananas or occasional spoonful of peanut butter. Chances are hallucinating and endure countless jellyfish stings. On the road, sea salt will swell the language of cartoon proportions and rub her skin raw.

“She faces the most bizarre, outrageous and unbelievable physical activity of resistance, no doubt, my life,” said Steven Mu? Atones, a champion open water swimmer who is the source of the Open Water and serves as a Nyad independent observer during the swim. “I can not imagine being at sea for 60 hours. I cannot imagine doing anything for 60 hours. It is inconceivable. It just is.”

“Especially,” she added, “your age.”

Her age is 61. Nyad tried this once before swimming, unsuccessfully, in 1978 at the age of 28 years. Swimming in a shark cage for 41 hours and 49 minutes until the weather strident and powerful current pulled her away from her course and was forced to resign. She had traveled only 50 miles. (A year later, she swam 102 miles from Bimini in the Bahamas, to Jupiter, Florida, without a shark cage. She still holds the record for swimming in the sea the world’s longest.)

This time, armed with better technology and a battered body, but more difficult, it is true that she will.

“Physically, I feel much stronger than I was before, but I was faster in my 20 years,” said Nyad, which seems strong enough to challenge a linebacker. “I feel strong and powerful, and strength-wise, I’m in shape.”

Michael J. Joyner, a professor of anesthesiology research and practice at the Mayo Clinic, agreed that older athletes, particularly excellent, do well in endurance sports such as experience and training can offset the need for speed.

At 52, Jeannie Longo still ranks as a top-level competitive cycling. Gordie Howe played hockey in her 50 years, Jack LaLanne was 60 when she swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco for the second time, handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat. Swimming is especially driven by technology, which will greatly Nyad.

“There are plenty of examples of people in there 50s and early 60′s doing all sorts of wild things,” said Joyner. “If the logistics work, unless storms or currents wrong, this is feasible. It is not a sure thing. But it would be a sure thing if it was Michael Phelps.”

If Nyad ago from Cuba to Key West, she will be the first person to have done so without a shark cage. In 1997, an Australian woman over the bathroom in a shark cage. But with a boat pulling the cage, swimming is easier and faster, she was completed in less than 24 hours.

“I’m in uncharted territory,” said Nyad.

This time, Nyad, conducted a marathon swimmer and sports, is taking no chances. It has trained more – for a year and a half – and changed its regime. Instead of swimming every day, she swims every day. Last year, she completed a swim of 24 hours in Mexico.

To help you succeed, we have organized an army of people – 22 in all – to serve as her support team. They travel to Cuba, visas in hand, and try to arrive within three days of her bathroom. (An effort last year was canceled due to visa problems).

“That’s the part that really interests me about Diana,” said Mu? Atones. “It’s not just the swimming part. There are people who can swim it. But they do not have the oratorical skills of organization, politics and passion you have.”

She also has the technology on their side: the satellites, global positioning systems, advanced navigation software, badges, including sharks, none of which were available in 1978. The cost of this is 500,000. Has raised money and depletion of its own bank account, but still short 150,000. Nyad, who works as a commentator for the Los Angeles-based KCRW public radio, shrugs.

“If I finish and 150,000 in debt, I will not lose sleep over it,” she said.

So far, four experts are looking for seven days before pointing the ideal climate for traveling to Cuba and into the sea, an oceanographer and meteorologist trained satellite on the whims of the Gulf Stream, another meteorologist who works for CNN and two officials from NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They are the hope for the beginning of a low-pressure system that could create the doldrums, a sea without waves, a few days.

To stay on course, the experienced sailor, David Marchand, based on their laptop, with very precise navigational tools that can immediately alert you if it deviates from the course. Any significant deviation would destroy their chances.

“Day 1 and Day 2, we want calm,” said Marchand, who is on her laptop in the sun aboard the “mother ship”, placing a towel over her head. “On day 3, it’s hard to get three days of calm, but even in a flat sea, you can get a storm -. Rain; thunder for 15 minutes to an hour, and then calm again cannot avoid them. And it is almost impossible to swim as it is. It should be straight. ”

Two men in kayaks will Nyad each stroke. It will perform a shark shield – wet bars that emit electrical waves to zap sharks get too close. The waters between Cuba and Key West are a playground of shark known. But the shield is not foolproof. Only in case of failure, as it did last year in the Caribbean when another woman was in a bath of marathon, four divers from shark with spears on board, ready to jump.

Some artifacts are decidedly low tech. As Nyad recently swam off the coast of Key West at a rate of two miles per hour for nine hours, followed by a white serpent under it, as a line in a pool. Keep an eye on the boat had been difficult, and often deviate from its course. Crewmembers discovered that if a coil is attached to a long pole and dropped into the ocean, could see underwater. Problem solved.

Another advantage is Nyad, three decades after its first attempt to cross the strait, is the emphasis on sports nutrition. In 1978, Gatorade was practically alone in the field, and even then was a drink niche. Now he’s drinking Nyad predigested proteins and blocks of gel electrolyte to aspire to maintain its high calories and her body hydrated and balanced.

However, her doctor is concerned about hydration, hunger and keep her body warm in the water. The sea must be at least 86 degrees warmer than it sounds unless a person is in it for 60 hours.

“The concerns are great, you can stay awake, focused and hydrated,” said her doctor for swimming, Dr. Michael S. Broder, associate clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and School of Medicine. Some days nothing ever have become sick days and others not. “Because no one else has done this, it is unclear what causes all the things she has experienced,” said Broder.

The mental game, too, would their fate. Conditions in the ocean are nothing if not hostile. There will be beautiful sunset can be seen to lift her spirits, as it would if you were running or cycling, not the music or conversation to distract her from her pain.

Instead, Nyad sings – Neil Young, The Beatles, Janis Joplin – seemingly thousands of times a day to avoid monotony and stay in the moment. She likes songs that have a cadence to the height of her career, including “Ticket to Ride.”

“This is 7929,” she said, announcing a typical figure of that song. “And here we go again:” I think I’ll be sad I think it’s today, yeah. “”

Nyad said: “Swimming is the extreme form of sensory deprivation,” a fact that leads to a bite especially hard for a speed sensor like her. “You are alone with their thoughts in a much more severe.”

But why go through this pain again?

Nyad covered reason in its galloping towards 60, is its instability greatly. She needed a new goal, powerful to awaken her energy and ambition. And although they had to swim abruptly in 1979, a victim of exhaustion, her mind focused on her bathroom without success in Key West.

“This is what I need to fix my discomfort,” said Nyad. “I have committed to take over. That level of commitment is high. There is no repentance or thinking about what I do with the rest of my life. I am immersed in the inclination of each day, full. It is very energizing.”

Nyad is no longer anything in anger, as she did in her youth, when I was working through the sexual abuse she said she suffered as a teenager. Now, she said nothing in fear of the world around them.

There is ego involved, of course. But her bath helped him turn a corner, she said, adding that she hopes to train others in their age.

“Hopefully a couple will say, ‘I live life like at this age,’” said Nyad. “I want the candle burns bright. We have changed a lot. Our parents’ generation, at 60, is considered old age.’m In the middle of middle age.”

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