As a teenager, Audrey Mestre suffered from scoliosis, but in those formative years, she discovered a passion for the ocean. It offered her a sense of freedom, and the burdens she faced on dry land soon dissipated as she slipped below the surface. In ... (more)the final stages of her Ph.D., Mestre was drawn to Cabo San Lucas, where she became infatuated with free diver Pipin Ferreras, a Cuban defector whose dives had put him at the forefront of the sport. The two became a couple, and Mestre followed the often elusive, often raucous Ferreras on his almost spiritual quest to push his limits underwater. Soon enough, Mestre moved from support team member to ardent free diver and then to a world-class competitor who outshone her husband. In 2002, after news arrived that a rival female diver named Tanya Streeter had successfully gone to a record-breaking 525 feet, Ferreras began preparations for Mestre to make a 561-foot dive off the coast of the Canary Islands. Having completed practice dives even deeper in the weeks leading up to the record attempt, Mestre was prepared. But because of a fateful decision before the dive, Mestre never resurfaced alive.