Nyad finishes Cuba-to-Key West swim

Image: Diana Nyad (©Ramon Espinosa/AP Images)
Diana Nyad's fifth attempt at an epic feat succeeded Monday.
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Update: 2:50 p.m. ET: Diana Nyad spoke briefly to the cheering crowd after reaching the beach Monday in Florida:

Update: 2:17 p.m. ET: A message from Nyad's team on behalf of the swimmer:

Update: 2 p.m. ET: A triumphant tweet at the end of the journey:

Update: 1:56 p.m. ET: Nyad's journey reaches a successful ending. She has made it to the beach.

Update: 1:31 p.m. ET: Nyad is in nearing the beach and a crowd is gathered to watch her arrival.

Update: 12:42 p.m. ET: Just a tweet from her crew (they are handling her account, obviously) as they approach the finish.

Update: 11:45 a.m. ET: Diana Nyad stops swimming just long enough to tread water and thank her crew for coming along on her epic quest to swim from Havana to Key West. About 2.5 miles away from her destination, she gathered all five support boats and delivered this message.

"I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean. This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very very glad to be with you. Some on the team are the most intimate friends of my life and some of you I've just met. But I'll tell you something, you're a special group. You pulled through; you are pros and have a great heart. So let's get going so we can have a whopping party."

"Thank you, all of you, thank you for your generosity." (All quotes and photos are from her blog)

Update: 10:44 a.m. ET: Diana Nyad's journey is in the closing stretch, but the jellyfish remain a threat. In the picture below, one of the divers accompanying her shows a large moon jellyfish. The divers have also found a box jellyfish, though it didn't have any tentacles. Nyad continues to wear her jellyfish suit and recently had "sting-stopper" re-applied to her face, hands and feet. She's just a few miles from her destination, with the latest estimate placing her on shore sometime between 2-4 ET.

Update: 9:32 a.m. ET: Nyad's team says a doctor on board reports that her tongue and lips are swollen and that both doctors among the 35-person support group are concerned about her airway, but haven't intervened. Nyad was also told she'd have to wear her jellyfish suit for another hour as she tries to complete the last few miles to Key West. She stopped for her first feeding since before midnight at 7:30 a.m., according to her blog.

Update: 8:44 a.m. ET: A photo posted from Diana Nyad's blog shows her continuing her approach to Key West as a cruise ship gives her room to go for it. Incredible.

And here she is, swimming between the kayaks pictured above.

Update - 6:39 a.m. ET: Navigator John Bartlett posted an update on Nyad's expected finish time and location on her website.

Diana is on course to swim 112 statute miles. This is 35 more miles than anyone has ever swam.

We're expecting to cross reef marker 32 at 11 a.m.

Then we have 5 miles to Smather's Beach in Key West, which is 1 1/3 miles east of White Street Pier.

Local knowledge from teammates tells us it is an ideal landing spot for Diana.

We hope to make that landing between 4pm and 6pm today.

Original story follows:

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is getting close to achieving her dream of swimming from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Fla.

Oh yeah, she's 64. And she's trying to be the first person to do it without a shark cage.

Nyad, who started the approximately 100-mile trek Saturday morning, is now less than 10 miles from her goal and making good time, according to a tweet from her representatives.

Nyad, who is trying for the fourth time in the last three years to make the journey, has said this would be her final attempt.

She has a team of 35 helping her make the swim, including a kayaker who keeps pace with her and a crew of divers to scout ahead for sharks. She also has Voyager, a boat carrying the crew, nearby.

Her navigator, John Bartlett, charts the course for Nyad to take and the boat's drivers stick to it. Bartlett also built a wooden outrigger that drags a long piece of white sail material to mimic the lines in a swimming pool.

Here's a look at videos from her journey so far:

She's in the home stretch now, time to root her on, though her Twitter followers are already doing a good job of that.

Jennifer Beals is impressed.

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