By Dorie Cox
A fish called the shrimp goby and a burrowing blind shrimp are most always together on the seafloor. They stay close enough to touch as they watch over each other to feed and avoid predators. Cathryn Castle saw the relationship as loyalty and friendship. She asked the group of scuba divers she was leading to sit still and watch.
“Can you see that is devotion?” she asked them.
The dream to share the human traits she had noticed during her decades underwater has come together with Capt. Gui Garcia. He was at the helm of a yacht nearly three decades ago when Castle was a scuba-dive guest. After the trip they continued in their separate careers, he on yachts and she as a writer and photographer. Each married, traveled, and dove deep into their love of photography and underwater life.
Twenty-six years later, after changes in each of their lives, they reconnected. Now they are married and work as a couple on yachts and scuba-diving adventures. Their passions have blended, and the concept that emotion and personality can coexist with science guided the design of the couple’s first book, “Ocean Metaphor: Unexpected Life Lessons from the Sea.”
The book is a mix of photos and words, for which the two scoured their archives.
“We worked from lots of long conversations and shared notes about observing marine life,” Castle Garcia said while on a visit to The Triton office in December. “I compiled all the material, and we shared editing duties. Our creative process was quite lovely and a lot of fun.”
Capt. Garcia stopped by after an ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) class at a Fort Lauderdale training facility. He has worked on motor yachts Tuscan Sun, a 145-foot Navantia; Lady Lola, a 206-foot OceanCo; Ocean Paradise, a 170-foot Benetti; and Qing, a 148-foot Cheoy Lee.
He has amassed thousands of sea photos, and they color the book. The brilliant indigo and violet in the close-up of a mantis shrimp’s eyes are described in the science segment as the most complex visual system of any in the animal kingdom. Each creature is also given a human characteristic – in this case vision: the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be. And the shrimp is paired with the life lesson, “Never lose sight of your dream.”
The book is defined by vibrant and mesmerizing photos taken by the couple, as well as some of their professional dive photographer friends.
Capt. Garcia remembers taking the shark and whale photos especially. Each one is up-close and detailed.
“I think my favorite photos in the book are of the tiger shark, simply because it is such a magnificent, yet often misunderstood, creature,” Capt. Garcia said. “I love photographing and filming sharks. They present all sorts of challenges. My second favorite is the humpback whale calf. Another huge photographic challenge, yet this baby was so curious and playful, which made it easy. It’s mother stayed down below, just keeping a watchful eye on the calf as it played with us. It feels like an honor to be in the water with these gentle giants. I am lucky to get to do this work.”