Book Reviews, Misc, Reader's Favourite

Book Review: Sea Odyssey by Alexander Flint

***This book was reviewed for Reader’s Favourite

Sea Odyssey is one man’s journey around the world, on the Queen Victoria. Flint recorded his 95 day journey via photos and watercolours. Here he shares the best of his bounty so that the reader may experience the journey with him.

The beginning recounts the major stops of the voyage. Starting from Fort Lauderdale, Flint’s ship wove around South America, with stops in Barbados, Buenos Aires, and Puenta Arenas, among others. Entering the Magdalena Strait, and glacier territory offered an abundance wildlife. Sadly, Flint got a lesson that sometimes animals kill for sport also. Glaciers gave way to Oceania, passing Easter Island and Pitcairn Island. There was unfortunately no stops to Easter Island to explore the megalithic moai. Tahiti, Polynesia, Tongo, New Zealand, and Australia followed. Samoa, Hawaii, Guatemala, Aruba, and Grand Cayman rounded out the trip, ending back in Fort Lauderdale.

These pictures and watercolours were stunning. The Owl Butterfly at the start of the voyage is beautiful. I loved the sloth pic. I hope it wasn’t for sale for food either! They are adorable and so helpless. Snapshots of graffiti and colourful buildings in Rio de Janeiro give a great insight into the personality of the culture. And, of course, there’s the giant Jesus statue to photograph. Montevideo offered a great moon shot.

Okay, the skua is a bird I’d never heard of before. These buggers are just plain mean. It seems they kill for sheer sport sometimes, rather than for food. Skua territory led to glaciers pics. I now have a much greater appreciation for how big they are!

I did have a qualm with Flint’s assertion that we do not know how or why the moai were created. Archaeologists have ideas about both, none of which involve ancient aliens. Experimental archaeologists have tried the techniques believed to have been used to ‘walk’ the moai to their final resting places. Most are believed to represent chiefs, or ancestors. Jared Diamond’s Collapse has a great section on Rapa Nui and its neighbours, including Pitcairn and Henderson, and there’s lots more scientific information out there regarding this fascinating culture.

Bora Bora had wonderful wildlife opportunities, in a snorkeling trip. There are rays and sharks right there, no cages. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to get near the sharks. Tongo’s flying foxes are adorable! And so big! Australia gave Flint the chance to get snapshot it’s creepy insects and birds.

I loved Flint’s bird watercolours, especially the hummingbird. I preferred the nature paintings to those done of people or buildings. All of the watercolours were well-done. It’s a me thing, preferring nature over ‘civilisation’.  My favourite pic, hands down, is the Bay of Islands sunset.

???? Recommended for those who love art and photography books

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