08/09/2011 at 06:00 AM EDT
Twenty-nine hours after she began her endurance swim Sunday – and roughly halfway through her journey – Diana Nyad was forced to abandon her effort to become the first person to swim
the 103 miles between Cuba and Florida without a shark cage.
"I am not sad. It was absolutely the right call," Nyad, 61, said as she boarded a boat at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Nyad was vomiting when she ended her trip. The previous day she had battled ocean swells, shoulder pain and asthma.
Her decision was further fueled by the strong winds and undesirable currents she encountered, said her team, reports CNN
Had Nyad completed the stretch, she would have broken her own record of a 102.5 mile swim, which she set from the Bahamas to Florida in 1979. She had previously attempted the Cuba-to-Florida route
at age 28, only to fail.
Nyad, whose motto is "60 is the new 40," had said she hopes the feat would help convince other people her age to live active lives.