Early this week, the story of Jennifer Figge swimming "across" the Atlantic Ocean surfaced. Nearly immediately, skeptics began crunching the numbers and it was painfully obvious she didn't come close to doing many of the things for which credit was being given.
The erroneous nature of the reports comes basically in the distances. When the AP originally reported she swam 2,100 miles, they were calculating how far her boat traveled. In all actuality, Figge probably only swam around 250 miles, if that.
Members of her crew have been coming to her aid in the aftermath, correctly pointing out that no one ever explicitly stated -- from their camp, at least -- that she was to swim the entire distance. You see, you can't exactly drop anchor in the middle of the ocean. Thus, her boat never stopped, so when she got in the boat to rest, eat, avoid bad weather, or escape Portugese man-o-war attacks; said boat just kept humming along across the ocean.
In fact, the farthest she ever swam in one day was 25 miles, and that was when she was being helped by a strong current.
"Some of the more sensational stories made it sound like she got in the water at point A and never stopped swimming, like Nemo, until she got to Trinidad," (Manager David Higden said Monday.
"That wasn't the case, and it never was supposed to be the case.
"The plan all along was for her to swim a little bit every day and then get in the boat."
Some days she was only in the water for 20 minutes or so, according to reports. Also of note is that she was swimming in a cage that would protect her from sharks. Apparently, though, that's all it kept out:
"Whales literally came up to her," Higden said. "She swam with dolphins some days."
Finally, the plan was never to make the news of an incredible athletic feat. It was, instead, more about the adventure, according to Higden.
"Jennifer once told me, 'This is about the romance, not the science,' " he said. "She loves to be in the water.