Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Gino Gönenç Kalganoğlu grew up near the sea in the Turkish coastal town of Çanakkale. His multi-cultural and multi-lingual background has now led him to become an American citizen living in another coastal city of New Orleans.

Along his way from Çanakkale to New Orleans, Kalganoğlu has produced and directed over 100 hours of television shows including documentaries and The Gulf Tides series on the British Petroleum Oil Spill, narrated by Tim Robbins. As a nod to his cinematic skills, he has been selected as a Google OCEAN contributor.

As a child, he hunted octopi and conger eels, but his perspective changed towards the more creative the older he became. “Something in me changed. Growing up, I used to go after fish with a speargun, but now the camera is my speargun and I use it to showcase the beauty and mystery of the sea and shine the light on it’s many challenges.”

Literally and figuratively, the ocean is his backyard. And now over the course of six months, he will be the filmmaker to document The Longest Swim, a transoceanic swim across the Pacific Ocean by Benoît Lecomte.

The Longest Swim is clearly his most risky and most creative canvas to exercise his art and a platform to further his quest to protect and showcase his backyard.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association