It’s no secret that creating art has always been one of my greatest passions. Of course, reeling in a huge marlin, diving with sharks or just cruising across the open ocean also keeps a fresh supply of adrenaline pumping. In addition to spending thousands of adventurous hours on the water and in front of the canvas, I’ve also written a lot of articles over the years for numerous magazines and books.
Back in 2002, I wrote my first book, Portraits from the Deep, which coincided with our television series bearing the same name. Because we wanted to highlight the colorful art and photography, we published Portraits from the Deep in a hard-cover, coffee-table format. A few years later, in 2010, I was fortunate enough to be involved in two more major book projects. I wrote Panama Paradise, which is a tribute to one of my favorite places in the world to fish, Tropic Star Lodge. It’s also a gorgeous coffee table book with 256 pages of images and artwork in large format. That same year, I was honored to illustrate Fishes of the Open Ocean by my good friend and Australian marine biologist Julian Pepperell.
When the pandemic shut down travel and we were all confined to our homes, I decided to seize the opportunity to write another book. Although this one would be different, something that my friends and family have been asking me to write for years. This time, I wrote an autobiography of sorts of my greatest stories from Alaska to Panama, Australia, Costa Rica, Belize, the Galápagos, Cuba and all of the places I’ve traveled to fish and conduct marine research. It’s titled Guy Harvey’s Underwater World. For me, this was the silver lining of the pandemic. It allowed me long stretches of uninterrupted time to write. As it turned out, those long periods were frequently cut short by myriad Zoom calls, a number of virtual keynote addresses and multiple film projects. No complaints from me, though. Those video conferences turned out to be a great way to keep in touch.
The first draft of my book was so long — more than 700 pages — that my publisher almost went into cardiac shock. They made me cut it in half, and I was able to painfully edit it down to 344 pages. I thought reeling in a 1,000-pound blue marlin was hard, but slicing out sections of my life was truly a challenge. The good news is that I was able to preserve some of my most memorable expeditions.
To learn more about the book, all you have to do is turn to page 68 in this magazine. We’ve included an excerpt for your reading pleasure. We decided to feature the chapter on the Galápagos Islands because we have a companion article by author Sid Dobrin showcasing the horrendous illegal fishing fleets — mostly from China — that have decimated the waters of the Galápagos. It’s a horrific conservation situation in a place that should be protected at the highest standards.
There’s so much more in the pages of this issue that I don’t know where to begin. So, I’ll let you scour the table of contents and find the articles that interest you the most.
As always, thanks for your support.
Tight lines and fair winds.