Classically trained chef Agus Vera spent 7 years cooking his socks off in Barcelona’s best restaurants before he made the move to boats in 1997. He started out on a 40m motor yacht before he jumped ship to join the stunning classic schooner Shenandoah where he stayed for the next 3,5 years, sailing everywhere from Scotland to South Georgia and from Singapore to the Seychelles!
Agus, already a keen diver before boats, was lucky enough to bask in the world’s most beautiful dive spots, flapping fins next to anything from tiny clown fish to 5m manta rays. He was a shark-nut as a nipper but became even more intrigued after swimming with reef sharks in French Polynesia. He then submersed himself in the subject of sharks which is how he got to know all about the problems these much-feared fish are facing.
Although illegal in many countries, shark finning kills 60 to 100 million sharks every year. Shark finning is the practice of slicing off the shark’s fins while the shark is still alive. The rest of its body is thrown back into the ocean where it can take days to die a slow and painful death. Some sharks starve, others are slowly eaten by other fish, and some drown, because sharks need to keep moving to force water through their gills for oxygen.
Shark fins are a prized ingredient, especially on the Asian market. A kilo of fins can sell for as much as 500USD and are used to prepare the despicable shark fin soup. An extravagant and perverse gastronomic custom that is devastating to our oceans. Sharks, inhabitants of the oceans for the last 450 million years, are key to the balance of the marine ecosystem and are essential in keeping the environment, hence the earth, healthy.
To raise awareness and funds for this cruel and useless practice that’s bringing these amazing animals to the brink of extinction, Agus created Kharmeg, an action packed adventure comic starring a 25m long, 140 tonnes weighing, slightly disgruntled Carcharodon Megalodon! The comic is a condemnation of the killing of these most misunderstood and imposing of sea creatures and in this tale, a vigilante pirate hunter and an antagonistic activist join forces to fight against it..
The idea for Kharmeg was born in 2007 onboard motor yacht Cheetah Moon (while polishing stainless steel anchored in Gran Roque, Venezuela) and it’s taken Agus many years to dream up all the characters and all that happens to them!
One of his concoctions in particular, the Sealogic, probably took the longest to perfect. A powerful carbon fibre catamaran, 30 meters in length with a 15 meter beam, a draught of just 60 cm and weighing only 13 gross tonnes! The Sealogic has two electric motors powered by batteries which in turn feed on solar energy collected by tens of photovoltaic panels, arranged across the deck. It also has two 60 kWh generators which can help Sealogic easily reach speeds of over 40 knots and are put into action to steer away from pirates and corrupt coastguards..
Curious to find out what happens in the comic Kharmeg? How, for example, the beautiful marine biologist Elise Gray, meets John Verin and Maxwell Hart, ex super yacht crew thirsty to revenge the ruthless pirates that held them hostage? And off course how the three friends get to team up with this colossal creature from the deep depths of the ocean? In this page turner you’ll see everything from Somali pirate attacks to state-of-the-art catamarans and from mafia groups to mega yachts. Plenty of blood will be shed and prepare for a good dose of violence, all artfully penned unto paper by the very talented cartoonist Mariano de la Torre and brought to life in colour by the artist Fran Vazquez.
To find out more about Agus’s shout out to sharks check out the crowd funding site Verkami where you can high-fin these extraordinary animals by pledging some money to help Agus reach his goal and, if not for our finned friends, then do it to read an ultra cool comic or even to get your hands on one of the awesome rewards. Apart from signed copies of the comic, also having the artist draw you in the comic or coming out for a sail in Agus’s 6m classic sail boat: ‘Tuna’.
And even if all the reasons above still make you go ‘mwah’ join in because this guy is one of the most passionate people I know and had the ‘cojones’ to spend all of his spare time and saved up dough to do something he strongly believes in.
And just this is worth something now, isn’t it?
To check out the project click here.