MIAMI (AP) — Diana Nyad on Tuesday defended her 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida to skeptics who questioned whether she got into or held onto a boat during part of the journey.

Nyad said she swam without being propelled or held up by any of the boats or people accompanying her.

"I swam. We made it, our team, from the rocks of Cuba to the beach of Florida, in squeaky-clean, ethical fashion," Nyad said.

Her critics have been skeptical about long stretches of the 53-hour swim were Nyad appeared to have either picked up incredible speed or to have gone without food or drink. Since Nyad finished her swim Sept. 2 in Key West, long-distance swimmers have been debating the topic on social media and in online forums.

Nyad's speed, at some points more than doubling her average of 1.5 mph, has drawn particular scrutiny. Her team has attributed her speed to the fast-moving Gulf Stream flowing in her favor.

The 64-year-old endurance athlete and her team held a sometimes contentious conference call with some of those who questioned her navigator's credentials and observations of the currents.

"Many of us are pursuing this as a technical matter," said Richard Clifford, a New York attorney and a kayaker for open water swimmers. "Having the information out there helps us analyze it, measure it, test it, smell it, you know, decide if it looks right and is right, and you guys keep saying it is. So, let us look at it."

Nyad's navigator, John Bartlett, said her fastest speed averaged about 3.97 mph over a 5.5-hour period over about 19 miles, crossing the strongest parts of the Gulf Stream, which was flowing at a favorable angle.

"What you're seeing is the combination of the speed of Diana propelling herself in the water and the speed of the current carrying us across the bottom," he said.

Nyad pledged that all the observations and notes taken by Bartlett and two official observers of the swim will be made available.

Evan Morrison, co-founder of the online Marathon Swimmers Forum, says it will be interesting to compare those observations made with publically available data about the currents Nyad swam.

Nyad attempted the swim from Cuba to Florida four times before finally completing the journey on her fifth attempt, making her the first to make it without the aid of a shark cage.

She did follow a streamer dangled in the water by her team and used a specialized mask and bodysuit to protect herself from venomous jellyfish, which are considered a more serious threat than sharks in those waters. There are some members of the marathon swimming community who say these methods violated the traditions of her sport.

Nyad said she supported applying to the Florida Straits the generally accepted marathon swimming guidelines prohibiting athletes from holding onto their support boats or using equipment such as flippers, but she maintained that the protective suit was the only way to survive the jellyfish. She said she was open to sharing her innovations with future swimmers.

"I don't mean to fly in the face of your rules, but for my own life's safety, a literal life-and-death measure, that's the way we did it," she said.

Not all of the open water swimmers questioned Nyad's methods or track.

"I feel sorry for the questions you were just asked, understanding that when you're the first person to do something, the questions you're asked are rather ridiculous," said Penny Dean, who set records swimming across the English and Catalina channels. "I think the only thing she needs to show are the logs of the swim."

Nyad and her team said published statements by her doctors that she went seven hours without eating or drinking were mistakes, and while there were hours when she didn't eat solid food, she never went more than 45 minutes without water.

Nyad she had not known about all the controversy over her methods and speed until it made national news.

"First of all, I was trying to feel some joy," she said.

___

Follow Jennifer Kay on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jnkay .

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  • Diana Nyad

    FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 file photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad emerges from the Atlantic Ocean after completing a 111-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla. Nyad's swim from Cuba to Florida has generated some skepticism in the small community of marathon swimmers. Critics have suggested that during a speedy stretch of the 53-hour swim, Nyad might have gotten into or held onto the boat that accompanied her. They also question whether she violated the traditions of her sport by relying on a specialized mask and wetsuit to protect herself from jellyfish. Nyad's navigator and one of the swim's official observers tell The Associated Press that Nyad didn't cheat. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman, File)

  • Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll

    Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, right, and her trainer, Bonnie Stoll hug after Nyad walks ashore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Key West, Fla. after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, swims towards the completion of her 111-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Nyad, 64, is be first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, right, gestures a V for victory after completing a 111-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla. Nyad, 64, is the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. The swim took Nyad 52 hours and 54 minutes, according to a support team member. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, center, is taken to Lower Keys Medical Center, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, after coming ashore at Smathers Beach in Key West, Fla. She completed a 103-mile swim in 53 hours. She became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Key West Citizen, Rob O'Neal) MIAMI HERALD OUT.

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau Diana Nyad emerges from the Atlantic Ocean after completing a 111-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla. Nyad, 64, is the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. The swim took Nyad 52 hours and 54 minutes, according to a support team member. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau Diana Nyad emerges from the Atlantic Ocean after completing a 111-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla. Nyad, 64, is the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau Diana Nyad, right, is supported by a longtime team member after completing a 111-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla. Nyad, 64, is the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. The swim took Nyad 52 hours and 54 minutes, according to a support team member. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad tells supporters and fans that you are "never too old to chase your dreams" after completing a 111-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla. Nyad, 64, is the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. The swim took Nyad 52 hours and 54 minutes, according to a support team member. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau Diana Nyad receives medical treatment after completing a 111-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla. Nyad, 64, is the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad walks on to the Key West, Fl., shore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, as team members form a wall to protect her, as she becomes the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll

    Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, right, and her trainer, Bonnie Stoll hug after Nyad walks ashore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Key West, Fla. after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad

    Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad swims towards shore in Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll

    Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, right, and her trainer, Bonnie Stoll hug after Nyad walks ashore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Key West, Fla. after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll

    Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, right, and her trainer, Bonnie Stoll hug after Nyad walks ashore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Key West, Fla. after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll

    Fans push towards long distance swimmer Diana Nyad, center, as she comes ashore, and is greeted by her trainer Bonnie Stoll, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Key West, Fla., becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. Her trainer Bonnie Stoll (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad is greeted by former Key West Mayor Sonny McCoy as she is taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center after completing her historic swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. McCoy, now 86, successfully water-skied, on one ski, between the islands in 1978, the same year Nyad made her first of five attempts. McCoy's son, Sean, at right, chose a parasail to make his trip between Cuba and Key West in 1997. (AP Photo/The Key West Citizen, Rob O'Neal)

  • Diana Nyad

    Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad swims towards shore in Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll

    Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, right, and her trainer, Bonnie Stoll hug after Nyad walks ashore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Key West, Fla. after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad

    United States endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is greeted by a crowd as she walks on to the Key West, Fla., shore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll

    Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, right, and her trainer, Bonnie Stoll hug after Nyad walks ashore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 in Key West, Fla. after swimming from Cuba. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana nyad

    Fans of long distance swimmer Diana Nyad wait for her to make it ashore in Key West, Fla. Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 after swimming from Cuba. U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad walked to shore, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, swims towards the completion of her 111-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. The white underwater streamer, trailing from the support boat's boom, serves as a navigation aide for Nyad. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • A teammates waits for U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad to come ashore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, in Key West, Fla., after swimming from Cuba. Looking dazed and sunburned, U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad walked to shore, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad

    United States endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is greeted by a crowd as she walks on to the Key West, Fla., shore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, swims towards the completion of her approximately 110-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    CORRECTS DISTANCE OF TREK TO ABOUT 110 MILES INSTEAD OF 111 MILES - In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, swims towards the completion of her approximately 110-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, is escorted by kayakers as she swims towards the completion of her 111-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, swims towards the completion of her 111-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, swimmer Diana Nyad talks with her crew less than two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits from Cuba to the Florida Keys without the security of a shark cage. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, points towards Florida before her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, adjusts her goggles before jumps into the water and start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, adjusts her swimming cap before her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, right, begins her swim to Florida from the waters off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, jumps into the water to begin her swim to Florida from the waters off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, begins her swim to Florida from the waters off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, begins her swim to Florida from the waters off Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, salutes before her swim from Havana, Cuba, to Florida in Havana on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, greets her support team before her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Endurance athlete Nyad launched another bid Saturday to set an open-water record by swimming from Havana to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Diana Nyad

    U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, gestures as she explains the jellyfish bites she experienced in her previous attempt to swim from the Florida Straits to the U.S. mainland, in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. The U.S. marathon swimmer arrived in Cuba Friday for her fifth attempt to swim across the Florida Straits to the U.S. mainland without a protective cage toward off shark attacks. The grueling swim is scheduled to start early Saturday, weather permitting. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)