"Many times that current runs west-east and you're constantly fighting the current if you're swimming north. In this case, it was in the shape of an S, and the angle was almost exactly from Havana to Key West,'' Roffer said.
Janet Hinkle, a Key West boat captain and acquaintance of Nyad's, was called to be an observer for the swim when Steve Munatones, a former U.S. national open-water coach, was unable to make it. "I can say unequivocally she swam every stroke without question,'' Hinkle said.
Critics have said Hinkle was too close to Nyad to be an independent observer of her swim. Hinkle has in the past helped Nyad by providing housing for her when the swimmer stayed in the Florida Keys, but she said she remained on the periphery of Nyad's team. "I think anyone who knows me knows me as a person of high integrity. I believe that's why Diana asked me, and I took my job very seriously,'' Hinkle said. "She was giving her all and I would give her my best.''
Since none of the various open-water swimming associations dictate how someone should swim from Cuba to Florida -- officially accomplished only by Nyad and Susie Maroney, who used a shark cage -- Nyad just had to follow generally accepted rules about not getting out of the water or using equipment such as fins.
Australian Chloe McCardel followed English Channel rules in her attempt to swim the Florida Straits in June. She had to be pulled from the water after 11 hours after being stung jellyfish.
"Generally the rules are: You walk in, you swim across and you walk out, and you do it under your own power,'' said Munatones, who consulted with Nyad for this swim and observed her attempts in 2011 and 2012.
The elaborate, full-body wet suit and protective mask Nyad wore to protect herself from venomous jellyfish actually weighed her down, Munatones said.
"To put that on is like putting on a wedding gown in the ocean,'' he said. "It's different from the English Channel rules, but the water is different from the English Channel.''
To many, it seems Nyad hasn't exactly endeared herself to those in the marathon swimming community. Some consider her primarily concerned with gaining the spotlight instead of helping others advance the sport.
At her post-swim news conference on Tuesday, Nyad admitted that she had not been rooting for McCardel and that she was miffed some members of her team would jump ship to work for a competitor.
McCardel said she was disappointed to hear Nyad call those crew members "traitors.''
"One of the greatest things, I believe, about international marathon swimming is how people across the world support crew for and mentor each other. I wouldn't change this aspect of our sport for the world!'' McCardel posted on her Facebook page.