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"Make this swim and you're it," Margie Carroll told her.
As day broke, she asked for chicken and Perrier water with dextrose, and she held it down. Now, energized by the rising of the sun and of her blood sugar, she swam strongly into Monday.
The press was waiting to spread the word. In addition to the shark cage, seven boats had been with Nyad from the start: two from Cuba and five others, carrying trainers, crew, and approximately two dozen U.S. journalists. There may be better distance swimmers in the world, but none as adept at press relations as Nyad, or at fund raising—$150,000 for this swim alone.
Early Monday morning, perhaps sensing the troubles ahead, Nyad had asked, "Are we going anywhere? Can we reach Florida in 60 hours?" She was told, "Yes, it's still possible," and she plowed on. But her trainers were afraid she knew the truth.
At her next feeding, she pointed to her tongue and moaned, "I can't eat anything." Candace Lyle Hogan, her roommate and one of her trainers, crumbled chicken meat and pushed it into Nyad's swollen mouth, like a mother bird. Nyad asked her, "Tonight won't be as bad as last night, will it? I couldn't stand anything like last night."
"Well, we'll just see," Hogan replied.
Suddenly Nyad raised her hands. "I thought I saw a barracuda in the bottom of the cage," she said.
"There are no barracudas here," Hogan assured her.
The trainers exchanged troubled and sad glances.
A voice called, "Diana, you've done 53 miles."