Photo: Alex St-Jean

Although she hails from a part of Canada over 1,000 km from the ocean, Sheena has always loved aquatic activities. Growing up, she spent summers on the lake and winters in the pool, becoming certified in lifesaving, rescue, and swimming instruction. As an adult, Sheena took up scuba diving and fell in love with the sea, which led her to leave the chilly prairies and a career in design and communications behind. Her search for sunny weather and good diving brought her to Utila, Honduras, where she enrolled in a beginner freediving course—and got completely hooked!

A few years (and a couple of skipped flights) later, Sheena is a master freedive instructor who has helped hundreds of students of all levels discover their aquatic potential. Strong and tireless in the water, she has also served as a primary safety diver during the AIDA World Depth Championships.

The 2018 Caribbean Cup International Freediving Competition was Sheena’s first foray into competitive freediving. During the Cup, she broke the long-standing Canadian national record in Free Immersion—twice!—with dives to 75m and 77m. With big smiles, a lot of laughter, and a tag-holder in the shape of a heart, Sheena “Machina” became the Female Overall Winner of the Cup.

Sheena’s most recent (and second) competition was Blue Element 2018, where she extended her FIM record to 78m and earned enough points to finish in the top three.

While she loves the challenge of diving deep, Sheena believes that freediving is firstly about enjoying your time underwater, be it on the line or the reef, and she strives to share this mindset—and plenty of smiles—with students and fellow divers.

When not in the Caribbean Sea, you can probably find Sheena in the kitchen, baking and brewing coffee in her beloved AeroPress.