Monday, 20 August 2012


Diana Nyad taking off for Florida
Fantasy Bob had never heard of Diana Nyad until her name popped up in the news today.  FB's world wide readership can be comforted that she has nothing to do with England's impending misfortune at Lords, and FB will not be dwelling on that subject today.  Nor is she an Olympic heroine of any sort, which is as well for there has been more enough worship of those golden victors.

At present Ms Nyad is bobbing about in the Atlantic Ocean attempting to be the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida.  The distance is 103 miles.  It will take her the best part of 4 days, almost as long as a Test match.  She is 63 years old and this is her 3rd attempt at the feat.

It is no walk in the park.  She is being stung by jellyfish.  But she is swimming without the protection of a shark cage although it is reported she benefits from an electronic shark repellent device.  There is also a team of divers on her support craft who have the job of diving in and drawing any sharks that are looking for lunch away from her.  Not a job that FB would put himself forward for.

FB is not sure why anyone would want to swim this channel, or indeed anywhere similar.  As far as he knows there is a perfectly good ferry service.  But open water swimming seems to be all the range.  FB read of a woman who recently swam  the Bering Strait between Russian and Alaska.  Apparently when this was attempted in the Cold War, the swimmer was considered by the Russians as an invading naval force and all manner of emergency.  This swim is less than 2 miles - but the water temperature is 4 degrees.  It is considerably warmer off Florida.

FB swims regularly ploughing up and and down the pool for a mile.  In his highly inefficient breast stroke this takes about 45 minutes.  Regular observers at Grange Loan will note that this is significantly faster than he runs between the wickets.  But he is pleased to say that he performs this feat of endurance without the protection of a shark cage.

Will FB ever venture out into open water?

There is as much chance of him getting onto the honours board at Lords.

Good luck to Ms Nyad.

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