Photo blog: Diana Nyad's swim

After a near-death experience when being stung nine times by poisonous box jellyfish last year -- once on the tongue for good measure -- you would think a swimmer would be hesitant to enter those same waters. But most swimmers aren't Diana Nyad.

The 64-year-old realized her dream in her fifth attempt to swim the 100-plus-mile stretch from Cuba to Key West. Accompanied by a 50-person crew on two sailboats who monitor her health, the weather and those critters that lie below, it took Nyad about 53 hours to hit the Florida shores on Monday.

Others had made it, but not without the aid of a shark cage, flippers or wet suit. Nyad was different. Check out the photos as she went for it in her one-piece, albeit with an additional gear item this year in the form of a custom-fitted silicone face mask. Sure, it may have hindered her breath and her swimming ability, but then again, it was better than taking a jellyfish tentacle to the chin.

Ernesto Mastrascusa/LatinContent/Getty Images

Diana Nyad shares details about her new attempt to cross the Straits of Florida -- from west of Havana to the Florida Keys, swimming without a shark cage -- during a news conference in the Cuban capital Friday.

Ernesto Mastrascusa/LatinContent/Getty Images

Nyad's crew prepares the boat on Friday for her fifth attempt to swim 103 miles from Cuba to the Florida Keys.

Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

Nyad delivers a speech at the Ernest Hemingway Nautical Club in Havana on Saturday before setting off on her 103-mile swim.

Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

Nyad is prepped before her fifth attempt. Her last swim was cut short amid toxic stings from box jellyfish.

Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

And she's off on her three-day nonstop journey.

Dawn Blomgren

A handler feeds Nyad bites of a peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Courtesy Dawn Blomgren

Diana Nyad drinks from a tube hooked to a CamelBak hydration pack to get fresh water.

Courtesy of Dawn L. Blomgren

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, Nyad had made it 63.25 statute miles from the starting point, farther than she has gone in any previous attempt. Her average speed of 2.04 mph had been increasing progressively throughout the day due to a favorable current.

Courtesy of Dawn L. Blomgren

The red streamer lights Nyad follows glow in the night's dark water. Nyad surpassed the 80-mile mark Sunday night, farther than any other swimmer attempting Cuba-to-Florida has gone.

Courtesy of Dawn L. Blomgren

The lights of Key West grow brighter on Monday morning as Nyad continues to swim strong after 43 hours nonstop. She knows where she is, and it gives her added strength.

Courtesy of Dawn L. Blomgren

Even cruise ships make way as Nyad makes her approach to Key West on Monday morning. She arrived just before 2 p.m. and swam 110 statute miles, 33 more miles than anyone had ever swum.

Courtesy of Dawn L. Blomgren

Nyad stops to thank all her crew and supporters before the final two miles of her journey.

AP Photo/Andy Newman

Nyad talks with her crew less than two miles off Key West, Fla., on Monday.

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

Nyad's team members form a wall to protect her as she makes her way to shore.

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

Nyad is greeted by a crowd as she walks on to the Key West, Fla., shore on Monday. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. ET, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday.

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

Nyad and her trainer Bonnie Stoll hug after the 64-year-old walks ashore Monday.

AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau/Andy Newman

Diana Nyad was flanked by safety personnel during her entire swim.

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

Diana Nyad's message after reaching shore: "You're never too old to chase your dream."

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