| Flotsam |

Cynthia Aguilar Completes 103-Mile Paddleboard Journey from Cuba to Key West

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Last year, she was undermined by stinging jellyfish and wicked ocean currents. This time around, it was all smooth paddling.

Cynthia Aguilar, a Miami Beach lifeguard featured in our November People issue, completed a 103-mile journey from near Cuba to Key West -- all on her paddleboard.

"I'm still a little sore," Aguilar said from Key West, where she is recuperating from the 29-hour 13-minute ordeal. "Touching land was the happiest moment I've had in a long time."

Aguilar is the first person to complete a solo, prone paddleboard journey across the Florida Straits. She began the trip at 7:32 a.m. on Wednesday and washed up in Key West just before 1 p.m. yesterday.

This time around, she avoided jellyfish stings by wearing specially made sleeves on her arms. A support crew, meanwhile, successfully guided her around the powerful ocean currents that ensnared her and foiled her first attempt last September.

"It went really well," Aguilar told Riptide. "It all came together. No animals this time, just beautiful sunset, beautiful sunrises, and all this beautiful blue water."

Aguilar didn't sleep during the epic voyage, but said she hardly noticed.

"I was just so focused on what I needed to do, which was cross that body of water."

Check out her website, Keep Paddlin, to see the route Aguilar took or to donate money to her non-profit. Proceeds from the trip will go to the Make A Wish Foundation.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.