Contact Garo: garo@californiafreediveacademy.com

Birth date: May 13 1971

Resides and teaches PFI courses in San Diego, CA

PFI Courses taught through his company: California Freedive Academy (CFA)

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My name is Garo Jack Hachigian.  I was born in coastal Road Island and spent most of my summers in the cold waters of New England.  My parents were professors in New York City, my father of statistical mathematics, my mother of German and French comparative literature.

I have, since I can recall, had an insatiable appetite for all knowledge regarding things in the ocean, and the ocean herself.  I can’t remember when I first donned a mask and snorkel  but when my father gave me my first pole spear at the age of 6 my life was changed forever.   It was a wire trident mounted to an old broom handle.  It was crude and basic but with it I learned that I could feed my family and the feeling was deeply satisfying… and delicious!  I spent every day in the ocean hunting and learning, and when the sun went down I would bring my catch home to my mom and dad who would prepare the most wonderful meals from it while I stood by and watched, enthralled.  I continued to spend as much time in and around the water as possible, learning as much as I could by observation and collection, and then at night in bed I would confirm what I had seen by reading and memorizing from the volumes of books I had collected.

My love for cooking grew side by side with my love for the ocean.  I would spend hours in the kitchen asking questions, experimenting, and being a general pest to my grandmother, and by the age of 12 I was cooking full meals from my days catch. Later I would assist my father in writing a cook book of traditional Arminian recipes.

At the age of 17 I began working summers at Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in Big Pine Key Florida, a summer camp designed for children to learn marine biology in a hands on emersion program.  The experience further deepened my love and passion for the ocean and in my off time I would freedive for fish and lobster to feed my fellow workers.

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I moved to California at 18 and attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, spending my free time exploring the cold waters of northern California.  Graduating with a degree in science communications I then moved to Japan for nearly two years to study Aikido.  On my return I founded Garoform, a design and manufacturing company dedicated to the production of superior quality furniture and spearguns.

I have spent years honing my diving skills, perfecting my spearguns designs, and studying culinary techniques. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than submerging myself in the world’s oceans, putting myself at risk to bring back the freshest catch, then creating an edible masterpiece from it to feed my close friends and family.   Such action is elemental and timeless.

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I have hunted the world’s oceans in pursuit of culinary excellence all the while promoting conservation and sustainability.  Throughout, no matter where my life has taken me, my abiding passion remains the ocean and her many moods

Yamamoto Oceaner OPS Dive Wise