AUG 29
Posted 2:07pm

Tomorrow I leave for Cuba

It was 35 years ago that the Dream first flirted through my brain.

Cuba to Florida.

Swimmers had started trying in 1950. To this day, nobody's made it (without speed help of a shark cage). I tried in 1978, a brash 28-year-old, humbled by the ferocious Gulf Stream and the dangerous wild life after 42 hours.

After retirement and not swimming a stroke for 30 years, I entered my 60's with the Dream still stirring in my imagination. More even than the huge endurance challenge, I was looking for commitment, for the high of reaching for the stars. The Cuba Dream was once again alive. Tried twice in 2011. Once again last year. The deadly Box Jellyfish, along with other Big Mother Nature forces, did me in each time,the last one 51 hours.

Tomorrow I leave for Cuba for the Final Attempt. This is the end of the journey. And the journey has been magnificent. The intensity, the people, the pride in touching one's deepest potential. But this time, along with all the life experiences and high emotions of trying so hard to achieve something so difficult, perhaps this time the Dream will at long, long last come true.

The weather forecast, seemingly perfect as of yesterday, is now turning against us somewhat. We will make final decisions once in Havana. On one hand, can't cowboy it up and go out in something truly undoable. On other hand, if not ideal and promises to be a bear of duress and rough seas, going to put my head down and press through.

The new jellyfish protocol, a silicone mask, is also a gargantuan challenge. It's cumbersome. It's hard to breathe. It requires much energy for a high-pressing stroke. But the tentacles of the Box cannot penetrate it so I must keep a positive attitude, trying to wear it through three continuous nights.

The crew is fantastic. 35 people. All first rate, in both expertise and heart.

Here we go.


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