110 miles, 53 hours: Questions for Diana Nyad

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  • godzillaboatgodzillaboat Temporary Suspension
    Capt John Duke here, (kayak support vessel "Phat Dolphin" for Diana).
    Let me remind all here on this forum a bit of history regarding the Gulf Stream and the Cubanos that have attemted to cross in paddle craft of every design, shape and mode (small engines) to oars and canoe like paddles.
    Tens of thousands have attemted to make this crossing and thousands have died trying. Those that did make it were either ''lucky'' (currents and winds) or they understood the patterns, currents, fronts and many other factors that would make it possible to cross at the correct time.
    Diana's attempts prior did not have near the conditions needed , this particular attempt and success was based on her putting a ''team'' together( standing by) and really having ideal conditions.
    My own schooner the "Dream Catcher" is docked here at Oceanside Marina and for years now I have observed Diana and team standing by for weeks waiting for conditions to be ''right''. This year I was approached to sign on to the team , I did in a professional capacity.
    What time of year, summer, what conditions , high pressure close by with calms. What about all the other factors the Gulf Stream presents? You have been hearing of them , counter currents, eddies, jellyfish, squalls, lightning and more.
    My knowledge here is growing by listening to each person talking.
    My conclusion is The Gulf Stream is no English Channel nor is it the Cook Channel , it has its own ''thing'' and any attempt to cross it ( refer to above, thousands have died trying ) via swim or craft, your ''team'' better be great, your time available, planning intricate.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    Well said Capt John!
  • smithsmith O-H-I-OMember
    edited September 2013
    Niek said:

    @AngelYanagihara Nice post here but I can only repeat:
    Nowhere in DN's blog does one mention the fact that DN was struck by a jelly but that the suit, mask, cream saved her from being hurt.

    I believe that if it had occurred you all would have made a great story about it then because that would have proven the legality of the suit, mask and cream and it would have been good publicity for the makers including yourself.

    Because of what happened to Chloe McCardel and the unique nature of this crossing, I don't have a problem with the suit or the mask. The box jellyfish is potentially lethal and is far too common in those waters, so that sort of protection seems to be ok considering that neither the suit nor the mask add buoyancy.

    Having said that, Penny Palfrey used a stinger suit, but was never touched by the crew until she reached an impassable current at the 79 mile mark. Currents are part of the ballgame in any crossing, and Nyad and her team seemed to have managed that perfectly in this instance.

    Regarding the "purity" of Nyad's swim, one of the most basic rules in OWS is that you start from Point A and finish at Point B without being touched by your crew. If a swimmer is touched by their crew, one of two things occur. 1. The swimmer is disqualified and the swim ends. 2. The swim becomes a stage swim. That is, if the swimmer hypothetically completes 30 miles and is then touched by his/her crew, that completes Stage 1 of the swim. If the swimmer continues, Stage 2 begins, etc.

    In sum, it seems as though new rules are emerging with Nyad's swim. In truth, because EC rules seem to be impossible when applied to this body of water, and Penny Palfrey's "failure" to complete this swim was directly attributable to current, then the "rules" should be taken from Palfrey's swim to uphold the most basic of rules in OWS. Penny Palfrey put the suit on under her own power, and took the suit off under her own power to uphold the integrity of the swim.

    Lactate is for wimps.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member
    @godzillaboat - I don't think that anyone would dispute that these waters are big and replete with dangers. But I don't think that it's appropriate or helpful to bring in the thousands of people who have died trying to escape Cuba as an example of that. Desperate refugees die regularly in much shorter and more benign stretches of water (Straits of Gibraltar, for example) because economics / politics have placed them in an invidious position that forces them to take extraordinary and often fatal risks. Their history has a lot to tell us about international politics and whose lives are treated as disposable, but nothing about the ins and outs of the efforts of privileged individuals to swim long distances as a status-bearing leisure pursuit under conditions of relative safety. (and I don't mean this as an attack on DN - I'd include myself in this as a marathon swimmer too, albeit over infinitely more modest distances).

    I'm not trying to open up any new cans of worms here or to invalidate your position in the assisted / unassisted debate - I just think that we need to keep things in proportion.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Thank you Capt. John and Dr. Yanagihara for your posts - very informative. Diana was fortunate to have you on her team.

    I also agree with @smith and @KarenT.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    I recall Steve Munatones telling us in 2012 that the first person to complete the swim from A to B without flotation or forward momentum and assists such as fins or a cage would set the "rules". She made it without a cage or fins. Touching was extremely rare and limited. The sting stopper was formulated in a very sticky base which would make it difficult to self apply although I do apply it from a ziplock bag when needed while diving on myself. The stinger suit could be modified with sewn in booties and gloves. She exhibited the coordiantoon and strength necesaary to have done all that by herself. All that said, the number of times she was touched were extremely minimal only in reaponse to marine threats and included no support to her flotation or momentum..
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    @AngelYanagihara
    Fins are an assist. Shark cage is an assist. Touching is an assist.
    It doesn't really matter if the touching was minor and brief. There is no way to reliably determine what assistance may or may not have been provided. That is why the rule exists - so we don't get into grey area debates.
    It's like saying "I only used fins for a few minutes, and they were small fins, so they didn't help that much."
    I realize these notions are deeply unpopular with the non-swimming general public, and seem petty to outsiders.
    But these are the technical rules of our sport. Diana knows this, and Steven Munatones knows this.
    It has been demonstrated by Penny Palfrey that it is possible to put on and take off a stinger suit without assistance from crew.
    To attempt to re-write the rule book for one's own personal glory feels disrespectful to all of us who manage to stay within the technical rules of our sport.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    Not touching the vessel and the other rules of no flotation or forward momentum was made clear to we crew members. We were instructed not to touch her except to attend to the suit or the sting stopper issues. Somewhere up in this thread around Sept 5 there was a rule quoted that allowed for touching a swimmer for safety issues- adjusting a light etc The only touching of the swimmer was precisely this- in safety measures. She put on her own suit we just helped with taping or covering exposed skin.
    My intent here is not to appear to adjudicate your rules of course. My only intent is to openly provide you with the factual details of the crossing.
  • JimeboyJimeboy Temporary Suspension
    @Evmo. With all that said, and it being recognized as an assisted swim because of the touching, she still swam 110 miles. It seems you guys are reluctant to give her even that.
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    @Jimeboy, if you read back in this thread you will see that most of us believe that once DN's swim is fully vetted we are more than willing to recognize this swim as an assisted swim. One of the most amazing assisted swims ever.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    edited September 2013
    @Evmo with all due respect, I am citing this comment by Gords on Sept 5 "During a swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person other than to pass food and drink or secure such items as light sticks for safety reasons." - http://cspf.co.uk/cs-and-pf-rules
    It would seem to me then that since any touching was extremely rare and solely for "safety reasons" even this touching falls within the allowed Channel Swimming and Piloting Association rules. Of course, I am clearly an "outsider" but I raise this issue as a member of the general public interested in advocating for fairness in vetting of this swim and in the process of arriving at appropriate rules going forward for FL Straits crossings.
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    @AngelYanagihara on the CSPF site you will fine the rules for an assisted swim.

    "An assisted category swim will be to the same rules as a standard swim except for the allowance, by prior arrangement with the Federation, of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. An assisted category swim will only be accepted after prior agreement with the Federation."

    http://cspf.co.uk/cs-and-pf-rules
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    @gregoc Yes I did read that as well. It seems to me that here is the fine hair splitting work for your group. There is the allowance for touching in the unassisted category "for issues of safety" and in the assisted category "for safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds". In the interest of open and respectful debate, for what it is worth, I would suggest that medical intervention in an asthma attack or clear "medical' emergency describes the assisted example, while a proactive safety issue allowed for in the unassisted rules describes the application of the stinger suit tape on her booties and sting stopper on her face.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    The difference with both CSA & CS&PF rules (or any others) though, is we all know what they are before the start ... or @ChloeMcCardeldotcom's & @PennyPalfrey's publication here before their swims of the rulesets.

    It's been over a year since people starting asking just what were/are/will be the governing rules. I find it impossible very difficult to reconcile being told what the rules were after every swim, only after the questions are asked, only after we'd asked each time. Why do the apparent rules only come in response to our questions? Nothing I have seen or read on the past week has addressed this question, (or some others).

    That's kind of a fundamental point of rules isn't it, their publication? Otherwise how to you determine the difference between reality and a Kafka story?

    loneswimmer.com

  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    I see. Sounds like a question "above my pay grade". I defer this question to the leadership of the Nyad team. I have just attempted to do my best to provide the information I am aware of. I think I described the rules as I was briefed of them within the context of a working crew member.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Do I have this right?

    Stinger suit is forbidden under English Channel rules, but it's OK in this case because the Florida Straits are a different body of water than the EC.

    (And anyway, DN never claimed to follow EC rules in the first place.)

    Now, two weeks post-swim, jellyfish scientist comes on the Forum and offers a new justification of repeated, planned physical contact between swimmer and crew, based on a tortured interpretation of... wait for it... English Channel rules.

    The mind reels...

    Dr. Yanagihara, I respect your jellyfish expertise, but this is nonsense.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    Goodness evmo, I thought we were engaging in respectful and considered conversation here. At least that was my approach and intent. If this is the tone ("tortured"?? "nonsense"??) now, I will sign off.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Dr. Yanagihara, as I already said, I respect your expertise on the topic of jellyfish.

    Returning to my Kafka story now...
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Upon consideration I think I/we should hold @AngelYanagihara less responsible for the "rules," as were apparently explained to her by DN and her crew chief. My frustration with the tortured post-hoc rule interpretations is best directed at DN & crew chief, not Dr. Yanagihara.

    Two of the most senior leaders of the CS&PF are members of this Forum, @Nickthefish11 and @KevinMurphy - and presumably several observers as well. Perhaps one of them can clarify interpretation of the "no physical contact" rule, and whether it justifies repeated, planned physical contact with the swimmer:
    During a swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person other than to pass food and drink or secure such items as light sticks for safety reasons.
    I would also note the "rules" of DN's swim have still not been publicly released. Two weeks after the swim.

  • Assisted


    adjective - An open water swim is assisted when an open water swimmer wears, uses, or benefits from... or any other equipment, tool, object, material, boat, materials that helps increase the natural buoyancy, heat retention or skin protection during the swim whether for extreme temperatures (water or air) or marine life.

    Unassisted Swims

    If Unassisted, the swimmer wears only traditional swimwear (as defined by the English Channel swimming community), goggles, and if desired, ear plugs and one swim cap.


  • This doesn't make sense, as by definition anyone that has used channel grease or sunscreen has been assisted.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    By what definition?
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    edited September 2013
    Here's a quote I see every time I log in...
    Ask questions (there are no dumb ones). Discuss the latest exploits. Cheer on your friends. Lively discussion is welcome - but please, no personal attacks.
    Niek said:

    If you're quoting from a dictionary you certainly don't act as an openwater swimmer. Marathon swimmers quote the rules from the CS&PF or the CSA.

    Here I'll quote from the CSA rules for you because apparently you won't bother to look them up yourself. http://www.channelswimmingassociation.com/swim-advice/regulations/

    There are numerous ways you could have gotten your point across w/out being so snitty Niek. C'mon. Would you talk like that to someone if you were face to face?
    I'm thinking, no.
  • paulmpaulm Senior Member
    Well fellow swimmers & supporters.....It appears a number of us are 'very petty "

    I’m not waiting for any petty little judgment,” Nyad said from her home in Los Angeles. “To think that the 44 people out there would collude in a fraud is absurd. We’ll keep celebrating

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/17/3633708/diana-nyad-cuba-to-florida-swim.html#storylink=cpy

    ***** Any update on whether we might actually see photocopies of the observers reports ....Not just updated later typed summaries ?? Or is that Petty of me/others to ask ??
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    I think we should just let Nyad go. Nothing we say is going to affect her perception of her swim. And really.. does it matter to you what anyone thinks of YOUR swim? Whether your swim is 25 yards or 25 hours we all have our own challenges. We are giving her the attention she so obviously craves.
    I agree the repercussions are reverberating outside of the OWS marathon community, for good or for bad but at this point, sheesh.. I have had enough of DN.
    Someone,at some time in the future is going to do this swim clean. DN will fade into the sunset.
    It's sad really because if this had been handled better we would be celebrating what truly is a an amazing amount of time in the water, by anyone, let alone a 64 yr old.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • More yardwork, so more time to think... blame the Court Without Appeal...
    In thinking about Ms. Nyad's recent Cuba-to-Florida swim and after rereading all 500+ posts on the topic, I am shifting my position slightly. I think that:
    1) If we believe that Ms. Nyad didn't "hitch a ride", but received the benefit of a helpful current, and
    2) If we believe the 7+ hour no-feed log entry was a mistake, and
    3) If nothing else, other than what we already know about in terms of assistance, comes up, then
    Ms. Nyad should be recognized as the first person to legitimately complete an ASSISTED swim of Cuba-to-Florida. However, by saying "ASSISTED" I propose that her accomplishment is NO LESS in stature then a hypothetical UNASSISTED (EC rules) swim of the same route would be.
    I say this after thinking about Hillary & Norgay's first ascent of Everest. It is clear that they had assistance in the form of oxygen, sherpas (in fact, Norgay was a sherpa), a massive supply chain, etc. It was only in about 1978 that Messner & Haebler did Everest with no assitance, but that in no way diminished the first ascent. In marathon swimming we have had, with the EC rules, the equivalent of Messner & Haebler's rules from the get-go. It strikes me as too restrictive for swims that have little or no history of completion. As to the argument of "How much assistance is too much?", I think that it must be decided on a case-by-case basis. For example, if someone were to complete it now with a shark cage, that is outside what is already been done, so it is "too assisted." Once Cuba-to-Florida is done under EC rules (and it WILL be done eventually), then that is the new standard, but doesn't diminish Ms. Nyad's swim.
    Having said that, however, keep in mind that this is predicated on the above three conditions and I have yet to be 100% convinced of those. Also, I do not buy the "first person across makes the rules" argument or anything else that resonates of sophistry. Ex post facto rule disclosure is also, at best, amateurish and, at worst, it is asking for trouble/nonacceptance - witness this thread.
    Ms. Nyad's swim, if it meets the above three points, should be considered a legitimate ASSISTED swim and part of the evolution of swimming the Cuba-To-Florida route. The revolution (EC rules) has yet to occur.

    -LBJ

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

  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    (Various forum members have messaged me to apologize for the tone used by some members, This thread seems something of a lighting rod for multiple agendas.
    I came as the forum invite offers for information and open non derogatory discussion.)
    Yes LBJ those three points are correct. Where is this "log" you speak of reporting 7 hrs without feeds or water? That is not accurate.
    I have labored to understand the culture here and this "EC" rules viewpoint. Digging into the EC rules myself I find the proviso for touching the swimmer for "safety issues". We did not offer "medical" intervention- according to EC rules an example of "assisted" touching. We made perhaps a dozen brief under 5 sec touches over 52 hours for safety reasons ie "unassisted" rules by the "pure" EC standard itself.
    I find it "tortured" "nonsense" to equate those limited touches equivalent to "assisted" swims such as shark cage and fin swims. You may be prompted to shout this comment down as "amateurish" but I do believe the press is reading this too and common sense and logic will dictate the broader assessment of this swim.
    In my opinion, to denigrate Diana as many here on this long thread have with hundreds of derogatory snipes does not demonstrate objective good sportsmanlike conduct. I do not believe there was any requirement for her to come to any particular board or international body before hand and submit a request for approval of her rules. Steve Munatones was onboard last year so I do believe she has worked hard with the leadership of this community. Encouraging folks to do this swim by "pure EC rules" could lead to loss of life. Chloe could have suffered lethal stings. Most of the Irikandji fatalities have been in healthy fit adults. To carry forward on LBJ's comment, the FL Straits is a t Mt Everest of swimming. Diana spent her whole life dreaming of that mountain and put together repeated improving world class efforts to accomplish it. She did not give up despite 4 failures. I gave my all as many of us did but I frankly thought there were too many moving parts and variables to allow for success. She showed amazing athleticism, discipline, and heroic heart out there to accomplished an historic achievement.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    Where is this "log" you speak of reporting 7 hrs without feeds or water? That is not accurate.

    There was a post on her blog during the swim that indicated that the crew had not stopped Ms. Nyad between midnight and 7am on one of the nights of the swim. I understand that during the phone call, the team actually posting the blog misunderstood something, and, as you state, it was not accurate.

    I find it "tortured" "nonsense" to equate those limited touches equivalent to "assisted" swims such as shark cage and fin swims. You may be prompted to shout this comment down as "amateurish" but I do believe the press is reading this too and common sense and logic will dictate the broader assessment of this swim.

    I understand your perspective. I agree that the touching provided by you and the crew is less assistance than fins or a shark cage. But anything other than incidental touching is assistance. If my bottle is tethered to the boat and the boat pulls me along via that tether, that would be assistance, and my swim should be denoted as such. As @evmo stated, the rules are written that way to avoid shades of gray, and make it easy for the observer to be objective.

    In my opinion, to denigrate Diana as many here on this long thread have with hundreds of derogatory snipes does not demonstrate objective good sportsmanlike conduct. I do not believe there was any requirement for her to come to any particular board or international body before hand and submit a request for approval of her rules. Steve Munatones was onboard last year so I do believe she has worked hard with the leadership of this community.

    I am speaking only for myself, but based on Ms. Nyad's previous attempts, specifically her attempt last year, where she did not report to media until well after the fact that her attempt was turned into a stage swim by boarding the boat, she brought her credibility into doubt. @munatones did nothing to help, as he was the observer, owns and maintains probably the largest open water swimming news outlet, and did not publicize this fact very quickly, either.

    I agree that there has been plenty of denigration (a charge I don't claim innocence toward), but I also think that there have been plenty of reasonable questions that were brought forward without malice. A lot of Ms. Nyad's supporters assumed malice (and there was some floating around, I agree), and things escalated from there, I think.

    You are correct that there is not a requirement to file a set of rules, but it is a common practice within the marathon swimming community. Many swims are conducted under various sanctioning organizations (Channel Swimming Association, Channel Swimmers and Pilots Federation, Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, NYC Swim, etc), some are not. If you are under one of these organizations, they have a list of rules that you will comply with if you want your swim to be ratified. Similarly, as @ChloeMcCardeldotcom and @pennypalfrey did before their attempts, they publicized the criteria by which they were going to attempt the swim. It should be noted that @pennypalfrey did not adhere to strict CSA rules, as she wore a stinger suit also, but her attempt was celebrated very highly nonetheless.

    I agree that denigrating Ms. Nyad is not the best sportsmanship. However, I also think that her happiness at the lack of success for @ChloeMcCardeldotcom and @pennypalfrey also demonstrates poor sportsmanship. One thing that I love so dearly about the endurance sports community, even beyond marathon swimming, is that competition often comes second for most of the participants. The joy in taking part and completing the task at hand is first for most of the athletes I've met who compete in extreme undertakings such as this. I can understand, to a point, the desire to be the first to accomplish something, but I don't regard Ms. Nyad's attitude towards the other swims in this part of the ocean as positive.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    We made perhaps a dozen brief under 5 sec touches over 52 hours for safety reasons ie "unassisted" rules by the "pure" EC standard itself.

    Yet, in reality, this is nothing like how the CS&PF interprets that rule in practice. Securing a light-stick that has unexpectedly come loose is categorically different than planned, repeated, full-body contact as involved in changing a swim costume. The latter would not be allowed in the EC.

    Do you have a video example of one of these suit changeovers, to support your contention of incidental contact? It was my impression based on reports from Diana's crew that this was a 10-15 minute procedure.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    It was a lengthy procedure because she did all the work of changing herself. There was no "full body contact" involved . We had extremely limited very brief contact - application of tape on ankles and wrist margins and sting stopper to face.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    It was a lengthy procedure because she did all the work of changing herself. There was no "full body contact" involved . We had extremely limited very brief contact - application of tape on ankles and wrist margins and sting stopper to face.

    To me, the application of tape around the wrists and ankles would qualify, very clearly, as assistance.

  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    But bringing the question back to "EC rules" (for the sake of this discussion), the motivation of the contact was seen by the crew as a safety measure- thus by EC rules an "unassisted" contact.
    I do not mean to appear argumentative and I intend no disrespect; I am clearly an outsider here. The reason for me to try to engage thoroughly is really to receive instruction as to the mindset of forum members. I thank you for the civil discussion.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    But bringing the question back to "EC rules" (for the sake of this discussion), the motivation of the contact was seen by the crew as a safety measure- thus by EC rules an "unassisted" contact.

    I understand that the stinger suit was used for safety reasons, I'm not arguing that point. But how can contact in helping Ms. Nyad change her suit (pictured above in @Neik's post) be deemed as a safety measure?
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    edited September 2013
    Thank you Niek. I had not read those items. Those blog entries are internally inconsistent:
    First Feeding Since Storm
    2:00am Monday September 2, 2013. Swim time: 41:00
    Reported by: Candace Hogan
    Diana came in for the first time since we've resumed formation, for a feeding.
    Diana’s Condition Report, First Light
    Monday, 7:30 a.m., Swim time: 46:31
    reported by: Katie Leigh
    When the whistle blew for Diana’s first feeding stop since before midnight,
    I was there for all that. We spent about 90 min in squall formation after midnight with lightning, thunder and swell with Diana swimming through it. As soon as the fleet re-assembled she came in for a feeding as noted in Candace's log at 2 am. I am not sure why Katie reported 715am a "first feeding stop since before midnight". That was not accurate.

    The photos show the handlers starting the process of the suit but she put it on. I did not observe the booties. She put on her gloves herself. Crew helped her with the tape.

    I respect the importance of good dialog and the care with which you are analyzing this swim. From my perspective these contact points were completely limited and prompted by authentic safety issues. I will leave it to your process though to discuss and or develop Fl Strait rules. I am happy to stand by as a source of first hand observation. My intent here again is to respectfully provide factual contexts. It is unfortunate that errors in reporting exist but clearly they do.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    From my perspective these contact points were completely limited and prompted by authentic safety issues.

    I think one thing that is very different is the intent of the rules. While it is dangerous to argue intent and with interpretation, I think the intent of the cited "English Channel Rules" is that touching of the swimmer is "allowable" if there is an immediate danger, such as a shark in the area for Cook Straight, or a hypothermic swimmer, or lightning in the area, or incoherent swimmer wandering away from their escort or something like that.

    I agree that the preventative measures employed by Ms. Nyad were for safety reasons, I have not heard any report of any immediate dangers that would have warranted (at least in my opinion) the neccessity for her crew to touch her. I wouldn't have any issue with Ms. Nyad administering her own salve, or putting on and taping her own gloves and booties, but if someone else did that for her, that, to me, would be unneccessary, and she should have done it herself.
  • edited September 2013
    @AngelYanagihara. Glad to see you're back. I was worried you and Capt Duke had been chased away. You both have been very generous with information and first hand accounts of Diana's swim, thank you. I hope the discussion will continue and remain civil.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    It is always our aspiration at least that everyone is civil. I'd really encourage you to use the Flag button to notify comments of concern to us.

    Believe it or not, we don't see every comment, there's only two of us. Occasionally by the time one of us sees a comment of concern, someone else has quoted it, and we also in different timezones, sometimes that works out well, in this discussion, well, not so much. Sometimes a couple of people will realise that we have edited or removed a comment, where we've felt it necessary that everyone was aware we have left an edit.

    That doesn't mean we approve or vet every comment either, you are all adults. Nor does it mean that if a comment is left untouched that we agree with it or the tone. People say things in different ways and with different tones and with having different primary languages, this being a global sport and topic.

    I can say for a fact that both @evmo and I have edited or removed comments that could be taken as being on opposite ends of the spectrum of this discussion.

    A friend once said to me: in real life everyone assumes other people are decent, the opposite seems to apply online.

    loneswimmer.com

  • Not to beat a dead horse, but in addition to the stinger suit and touching, Diana also wore gloves, booties, mask, utilized shark divers, jelly fish displacers, streamers and I even heard they may have used shark bombs (but this has not been confirmed). Our community could forgive some inadvertant contact and possibly look past the jelly suit, but all together this adds up to a full-on assisted swim. I am sorry, but I could argue that Diana had even more assistance than Susan or Walter....she certainly had more support.

    I am guessing DN's camp is getting tired of the questions and labeling, but didn't Diana herself in 1978, call Walter Poenisch a ‘cheat’ and a ‘fraud’ from which he won a small monetary sum?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013

    It was a lengthy procedure because she did all the work of changing herself. There was no "full body contact" involved . We had extremely limited very brief contact - application of tape on ankles and wrist margins and sting stopper to face.

    Again, are you willing to make available a video of one of these procedures? Going back and forth about subjective language such as "limited" and "brief" doesn't really help us understand.
    timsroot said:

    I think the intent of the cited "English Channel Rules" is that touching of the swimmer is "allowable" if there is an immediate danger, such as a shark in the area for Cook Straight, or a hypothermic swimmer, or lightning in the area, or incoherent swimmer wandering away from their escort or something like that.

    I don't think this is correct. Touching isn't "allowable" in the case of hypothermia, lightning, or wandering swimmer. When the swimmer is touched, the swim is over.
    In the case of the Cook Strait, again, we're talking about Cook Strait rules, not EC rules.
    timsroot said:

    I agree that the preventative measures employed by Ms. Nyad were for safety reasons, I have not heard any report of any immediate dangers that would have warranted (at least in my opinion) the neccessity for her crew to touch her.

    It is worth remembering that Penny Palfrey did 70% of this swim (and 100% of her Cayman Islands swim), managing to take on & off her own stinger suit, without help from crew.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    @ ScottZornig There were no "jelly displacers". And that would not be a credible approach in the pelagic gulf stream. It would be like trying to displace mosquitoes from a runner in a jungle. As a diver, I kept eyes on the water column to assess the changing marine hazards. There is no way to actually remove all jelly threats. The stingers at night in fact were mostly deep sea siphonophores with (when extended) yard long spider web diameter stinging tentacles and fireworms (curiously out in droves) . Some were collected to be cataloged. There were no shark bombs (what is that?). There was a lighted streamer, there were divers doing perimeter sweeps, there was the safety prompted suit, tape and sting stopper with respective limited contacts. At the end of the day (actually 52+ hrs), folks, she accomplished a heroic feat. She went out and created a world class team, did the research, paid her dues with multiple failed attempts and then she succeeded! This was a thoroughly ethical professional athletic achievement. Was it an EC swim- no it was not. Should fine athletes be encouraged to attempt this swim using EC rules- in my opinion that would be highly unethical to encourage or suggest. I am sick about the financial losses Chloe suffered due to poor/insufficient knowledge and or advice. I hope this forum, in the effort to spur and encourage the best athletic achievements is open to authentically celebrating Diana's achievement.
  • Thank you Niek. I had not read those items. Those blog entries are internally inconsistent:

    snip~

    It is unfortunate that errors in reporting exist but clearly they do.

    The inconsistencies could have easily been cleared up by releasing the raw notes from the observers. Unfortunately that didn't happen.
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    edited September 2013
    So would it be correct to report that Diana had a feed at 2:00 am and then her next one was at 7:15?
  • paulmpaulm Senior Member

    @ . I am sick about the financial losses Chloe suffered due to poor/insufficient knowledge and or advice. I hope this forum, in the effort to spur and encourage the best athletic achievements is open to authentically celebrating Diana's achievement.

    Sorry Angel- As others have said- Penny got 70 % plus across with only the long suit and with no need to have anyone touch her, Chloe did the research and may or may not have been unlucky (that is up for debate at another time ). DN wore suits, mask, and had people touch her along the way helping with the suits and apparently from the blogs along the way only saw a couple of Jelly's towards the end. maybe DN's advice to have all the extra's was incorrect ??? Maybe she could have saved a lot of money by not having all these extra pieces of equipment ??

    Re celebrating the swim as JVJ says above and many others have requested- get the team to release the raw data/reports and we can start to celebrate the swim-believe me there are a lot of people on his site that want to genuinely start to do so...when we get the data.

    Thanks

  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    @Paulm Frankly, I am not sure what Chloe's "research" consisted of. I wrote in to her blog to ask who her "jellyfish biochemist" was. I was very concerned at the bravado being expressed prior to her swim. There was no answer. No one has ever identified who advised her that "box jellies should not be a problem". Obviously, that person was dead wrong. There are multiple species of box jellies to contend with across the FL Straits not just one. I have started to worked out the field ecology for many of these tropical species but there is much work to be done. This has nothing to do with luck. The date that Diana choose to make the jump happened to be "good" from the stand point of the 2012 box jelly culprit behaviour modeling (based on phase of the moon, time of astronomical twilight and high tide, deep sea upwelling, ocean floor bathymetry) but just of one species of box jelly. This did not mean we would not encounter others. My plan was to be eyes on and advise. Fortunately, the jellies encountered during the nights were non-life threatening but again we could not have _known_ that. Penny could have suffered a sting on the face or lips that could have been life threatening. Didn't Penny report some stings that had left her depleted? If so, could she have made it out of the trapping current had she not been previously stung?
    As far as the raw data, that is not under my control. I hope that all will be forthcoming.
    I appreciate this dialog and addressing any of the details that I personally can. I have a great deal of respect for this forum and you all as remarkable athletes.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    @ Jbirrrd She drank and fed regularly so clearly she must have had other stops between 2 am and 7 am . I think Janet was on board for that full night recording the times. Almost every time they stopped, I was in the water and I know it was many times that night that I dove.
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member

    It was a lengthy procedure because she did all the work of changing herself. There was no "full body contact" involved . We had extremely limited very brief contact - application of tape on ankles and wrist margins and sting stopper to face.

    This quickly became this.

    The photos show the handlers starting the process of the suit but she put it on. I did not observe the booties. She put on her gloves herself. Crew helped her with the tape.

    This is part of the continuing problem. A source from Diana's camp comes forward and makes a statement. The marathon community proves it to be wrong, so the statement changes. Moreover, if you didn't see the actions depicted in the photo, how can you speak with any authority on what was or wasn't done by DN and her crew? That is exactly why you need neutral observers watching her at all times.

    No feedings for 7 1/2 hours becomes a misquote by the community even though the source was her own website. You have to see that the community has good grounds for not completely embracing DN's story without first examining it critically?

    One thing that DN said that really bugged me was her statement that she doesn't remember touching the boat in her last attempt. Was it so unimportant (or not a rule) that she didn't pay attention? I'm sure if one of her crew members hadn't unknowingly posted the video to You Tube we would still not know. When your crew doesn't know the rules, and there were plenty of people in the video, how can they step forward and defend her. How is it the observers on that last attempt didn't disqualify her immediately? Was touching the boat one of those things that was allowed by her rules, (which I never saw), or was the rule changed once she touched the boat? If it was allowed in the prior attempt, how did the rule change for her successful, albeit assisted, crossing? If Diana changed it, why did she?

    So where are the rules that were provided to the observers at the start of her most recent swim? Where are their logs for the swim documenting that at least one of them had their eyes on DN at all times?

    All of these are fair questions. No malice here, just curiosity and concern.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    evmo said:

    I don't think this is correct. Touching isn't "allowable" in the case of hypothermia, lightning, or wandering swimmer. When the swimmer is touched, the swim is over.
    In the case of the Cook Strait, again, we're talking about Cook Strait rules, not EC rules.

    I understand and don't disagree. I'm also aware that cook straight had different rules, just was trying to illustrate a point. But does a preventative measure mean it's justifiable to touch the swimmer, given that there doesn't seem to be any immediate threat?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    @timsroot - I think we're on the same page.

    Cook Strait (sharks) and MIMS (lightning) are the only local exceptions I'm aware of, where physical contact is allowable in the event of an unpredicted, immediate threat to the swimmer - i.e., the swim may continue subsequently. The MIMS rule, I think, mostly derives from the unique multi-participant race situation, where a DQ because of lightning would affect not just one, but many people.

    In the case of DN's swim, there was apparently no immediate danger, so the physical contact wouldn't qualify even under those (irrelevant) local exceptions.

    Planned, repeated physical contact, however, would never be allowed, under EC rules or any other recognized marathon swim.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    Yes I understand that these core questions are reasonable and not driven by malice. Katie's blog entry was unfortunately inaccurate. These things happen. The suit process was long and laborious because she was the driver of the process. I was a diver and not sitting still to watch. I has diving and doing my job so you rightly must consider that I could not see every second of the process.
    As far as 2012 goes that was a train wreck on many levels. We we trapped in eddies spinning us around like tops the first night then the sea of box jellies then stopped two nights in a row by "life threatening" storms and we were directed to remove the swimmer from the water by Steve Munatones. Voyager suffered a swamped port outboard, a seal broke and we took on water,listing dangerously in rising seas. We had to get all personnel into life vests off voyager in the midst of rough seas and remaining crew hand pumped the bilge and fixed the seal. I haven't seen the YouTube but it may have been after the point at which it was apparent we were definitely not going to make it-but she still swam on. I remember Steve's looks of grave concern. The point was to learn from 2012, 2011 et al and avoid all that 2013.
    Due to the hard lessons learned, remarkable planning, exceptional professionals and perhaps "providence" itself, 2013 was completely different and with the exception of the squall a remarkably favorable crossing.
    I remain happy to address questions.
This discussion has been closed.