What is going on

By: Carlos Serra


Karen, through the IAFD’s Forum, asked a simple but quite significant question; “Any news on Pipin's dive today? I haven't seen anything mentioned anywhere...” She’s only reflecting the vast confusion that exists regarding many aspects… Pipin’s attempt, movie deals, James Cameron, this website, etc…

To clarify some of these points, I would like to dissect in simple words (that’s the only way I can write, anyway!), what’s going on! 


Pipin’s dive has been announced in multiple times with multiple different dates (what’s new?). However, the most current and up-to-date information we can provide today - August 12, 2003 – is that Pipin will attempt to “match” (not break) Audrey’s absolute world record of 170 meters. The date? October 12, 2003. That will be exactly one year after Audrey’s passing. The dive will be in her honor; there is no other way!


Gary Smith, a Senior Writer for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED® Magazine, as a consequence of Audrey’s death, wrote an article about her and Pipin. A Hollywood Film-maker read the story and decided to convert it into a “big screen” movie. He contacted Pipin, came to Miami for a meeting (a nice lunch at Bongo’s Café in South Beach, no charge for the ad) and the deal was on its way (Currently pending the signing of the contract). The movie should start the pre-production phase, sometime in 2005, with the script being worked during 2004.

Who’s the Filmmaker? A guy who even “Aliens” know well. He is the one who brought the “Titanic” back to the surface and sank it to “The Abyss” once again. He has the ability to get away with “True Lies” while sunbathing in the “Solaris” of his Malibu home. He rides Harley’s with the “Terminator” and possibly, the next governor of California. Need more clues? I hope not… but anyway, his name is James Cameron and he will direct the movie.


Considered one of the most prolific Directors of all times, not many people is aware of the multiple talents he embrace. James Cameron not only directs, but creates the characters and writes the script for most of his movies. Here is a shocker for you, guys… the famous line… “I’ll be back! Is not Arnold Schwarzenegger’s creation!!! Furthermore, Cameron is an experience diver and deep-sea explorer.

He is currently leading a documentary/research expedition to the Atlantic, nearby The Azores Islands. The plan? To research and explore the habitat around Thermal Vents that exist in the sea floor. His staff, which includes Cameron’s older and younger brothers, among a diverse and well-trained, highly knowledgeable group of scientist, seamen (careful on how you read it…ok?), mechanics, technicians, doctors and others, will explore the bottom of the ocean in two “Deep-Diving-Human-Occupied-Research-Vessels. Too fancy of a name for you? (It is for me…) Let’s just call them, Mini-subs!  

Pipin and I had the great opportunity (thanks to Cameron’s kind invitation) to witness the certification process of the pair of two-men driven mini-subs, in the warm waters of the Bahamas. They were tested to “only” 1000 meters. For those hardheaded who still prefer the archaic and highly complicated “imperial” system, that’s 3,280 feet (give or take few “centimeters”). After a 5-hour process, the apple green, bubble-shaped mini-subs, passed the test with “flying colors”.

The dives for the research, in the waters of the not so “pacific”, Atlantic Ocean, will be about 850 meters or 2,788 feet of depth. By the way, Pipin is already planning to dive with the sled, next to the mini-subs to check the Thermal Vents. I will not discourage him from attempting the dive but he should not wear a wetsuit, that’s because the water stream, coming out of those vents is around 350º Celsius. Water’s boiling point is 100º Celsius, just as a reference, ok?

Oh…, I almost forgot the “imperialist type”… that is, 662º Fahrenheit. Metric or imperial that’s kind of warm...Isn’t it? That’s hotter than spending a date with Cristina Aguilera and Britney Spears, naked in a Jacuzzi and… well, you guys get the idea. For the ladies, you replace those two girls with Leo DiCaprio and George Clooney, but I don’t wanna know. Anyway, wetsuits are not recommended! 


After having a very dynamic and always changing website, you probably noticed that changes were not happening. Oh… you didn’t notice? Where were you then? Nevertheless, after dealing with the aftermath of Audrey’s tragedy, we found ourselves submerged in the labyrinth of a new and horrifying experience. We had lost a dear person, a key element to the company’s goals and projects. Suddenly, we had lost, not only that very dear person, but also, the will to continue. Website, records, arguments with the “other” clan, paperwork, classes, plans… everything that we’ve worked so hard for, up to October 11, 2002, was not so important anymore. 

However, despite the simple fact that life for us is different, we must continue some how. It may not be in the same way; it may not be with the same goals; it may not be in the same place. But, another fact prevails; life goes on! Based upon that reality, the website has been updated and will continue to be (full credit to Carolina for a great job, once again), as before, a window to the world of Freediving. A way to communicate what’s happening, now that we are dealing with some unique and quite exciting projects. The way I see this upcoming movie deal is, the greatest opportunity ever given; not just to Pipin, not just to Audrey, but also to Freediving as a whole. This is not the time for pettiness or jealousy as my Magic Ball (or should I say, Crystal ball) foresee. I’m afraid, I’ll be writing about it in the near future. 

The rest of the globe will take a glance into this world of dreamers and competitors of the ocean, but also, huge egos… Yeah… HUUUGE EGOS! If in doubt, I can provide a “titanic” list of well-documented examples, so don’t tempt me! Therefore, how the rest of the world sees Freediving from that point on is up to all the people who live in it. Will they look at us as a bunch of hotheaded, egotistical freaks or a group of people with a common passion for the ocean, its inhabitants and the most natural way to explore it. The choice is yours… In anyway, we will maintain this site with the latest details as they come out of the “oven”! 

By the way, you are probably wondering, who’s going to portray Pipin and Audrey in the movie? Well, the decision is up to the big guy, Cameron that is… but, so far, Salma Hayek has shown great interest to portray Audrey. We’ll see how it goes. About Pipin’s role? Well, I would personally suggest the one of the “animatronics” from “Alien”, but that Alien is too handsome to portray Pipin…  ;-)

We’ll keep you informed… 

Carlos Serra