Synopses & Reviews
The sea was our common home, and I felt our connection went back a very long way -- to a time that predated man's emergence from the water.
In 1996, Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras, a native Cuban and a world champion in the dangerous and controversial sport of free diving, met Audrey Mestre, a beautiful French marine biology student who had sought him out in Cabo San Lucas for her research. A passionate romance immediately bloomed between the two, and their love was bonded by a shared fascination with and devotion to the ocean. When the couple moved back to Miami, Audrey took up the sport herself and quickly proceeded to break the female world record (115 meters). They soon became free diving's power couple, testing the limits of their wills and bodies by descending to unthinkable depths, training and touring together, encouraging and motivating each other.
Then, on October 12, 2002, in a dive off the coast of the Dominican Republic, tragedy struck: Audrey's attempt to break the world record with a dive of 170 meters ended in her death. Suddenly, Pipín -- haunted by questions, reeling from the loss of his soul mate -- could no longer find solace in the sea that had always been his true home.
Now, for the first time, Pipín tells his story. He shares the heart-pounding adventure and fierce competition that fuel the sport of free diving and his own addiction to it. He addresses the controversy that has followed him throughout his career and that spun out of control after Audrey's death. And he relates the haunting story of his relationship with Audrey -- a unique and complicated tale of love and obsession taken to extreme depths.
"Free diving champion Ferreras sums up this dangerous sport: 'it all boils down to one simple, overriding question: How deep can a man dive on a single breath of air?' In the 1950s, such dives without tanks became fiercely competitive in Italy. The rivalry of Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca inspired The Big Blue, the 1988 movie that spawned mainstream interest in the sport. Amid this history, Cuban native Ferreras tells his story: 'I grew up with the sea as my backyard.' He defected to the U.S. in 1993, after breaking numerous diving records. On a trip to Mexico in the mid-'90s, he met marine biologist Audrey Mestre, who began dive training while their romance blossomed. Together, they produced a documentary TV series, expressed their love in tandem dives and married in 1999. 'Audrey and I were happiest in that silent, mystical underworld, bathed in blue.' That happiness ended with Audrey's tragic underwater death, and last year, Ferreras matched her 170-meter world record during a tribute dive on the first anniversary of her death. With fluid writing and vivid descriptions, this compelling autobiography explores emotional depths while detailing the sport's beauty, technologies, drama and dangers. 32 pages of color photos. Forecast: A 25-city radio campaign and author appearances could make this a popular late-summer beach read. Director James Cameron plans to adapt the book for film (Judith Regan will serve as executive producer)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“An enthralling memoir.” Outside magazine
“The book feels honest. The drama and danger...keep you on the line.” Entertainment Weekly
A world-champion competitor in the deadly sport of freediving tells the heart-wrenching story of his life with Audrey Mestre--the woman he loved, who died trying to break his record. 22-page color insert, with b&w photos throughout.
About the Author
A pioneer in free diving, Pipín Ferreras matched his late wife's world record of 170 meters on October 12, 2003, during a tribute dive in her honor. He lives in Miami, Florida.