Jennifer Figge, 56, conquers the Atlantic

A 56-year-old American swimmer has become the first woman on record to swim across the Atlantic Ocean and fulfilled a dream she has had for nearly 50 years.

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Jennifer Figge, from Aspen, Colorado, left Cape Verde more than three weeks ago, swimming up to eight hours a day inside a cage to protect her from sharks and resting overnight on the boat accompanying her.

Figge, who had originally planned to swim to the Bahamas, now plans to finish by swimming from Trinidad to the British Virgin Islands, where she expects to arrive in late February.

“I was never scared,” Figge said. “Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can always swim in a pool.”

Crew members would throw bottles of energy drinks as she swam; if the seas were too harsh, divers would bring them personally.

At night, she returned to the boat to eat meat, fish and peanut butter to replenish the estimated 8000 calories she burned each day.