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Australian athlete Chloe McCardel explains why she is going to attempt to become the first person in history to swim from Havana in Cuba to Florida's Key West without a shark cage.

The 29-year-old will battle strong currents, stinging jellyfish, sharks and her own physical limits when she attempts the swim this week.

"I will not wear a wetsuit. I will not use a shark cage," she said.

"I will not hold on to anything. I will not get on the boat at any time."

She hopes to begin the challenge, which she has described as "the hardest swim in the world today," at some point on Wednesday, weather permitting.

She plans to pause to eat and drink every half an hour or so, to ensure that she stays hydrated.

A 32-person support team which includes weather experts and doctors will accompany Ms McCardel on her journey, which should last between 55 and 65 hours if she makes it all the way.

She is swimming to raise money to support cancer research and is dedicating the swim in part to her mother, a breast cancer survivor.

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