Take Your Passion Cruising

Take Your Passion Cruising: Birdwatching

I have been reading Around The Next Bend, written by Australian cruiser Bernie Katchor. The book tells the story of Yvonne and Bernie’s seven-month journey along the rivers of Guyana and Venezuela aboard their sailboat Australia 31. It’s a fascinating read of travels in an area few cruisers have visited.

Meeting people as warm and adventurous as Yvonne and Bernie is one of the gifts of cruising. I have shared an anchorage with them a number of times, and joined them on several hikes in search of birds.

Yvonne is a great example of how pursuing your passion (in her case, birdwatching) can add depth to your cruising. It gives you a reason to seek out new places and people, and connects you to people who share your interests.

Below, taken from Around The Next Bend, Bernie writes about their birdwatching:

Yvonne looking for grass finches“Watching and identifying birds and animals is a passion, especially with Yvonne. She has documented the names of over 2500 bird species and continues to be just as excited when she positively identifies one she has never seen as she was twenty years ago when we started a hobby that requires binoculars only.

“We often take people from other boats bird watching and because of Yvonne’s contagious enthusiasm; we have created birdwatchers all over the world who email us to tell us what new bird they have just seen. It gives us great pleasure that these people are now addicted to birds. …

Yvonne: Is it a duck?“The Indians of South America not only have excellent eyesight but also are at one with nature. They see a movement in a windswept tree that is different and know at one it is the movement of a bird. We have not the ability to recognize this difference. These people love to accompany us even though they do not understand why we only look at birds and do not eat them. …

Bernie and Yvonne out looking for birds Our guidebook was Where to Watch Birds in South America. This book brought us to interesting places where the first question from the locals was ‘Why are you here? Tourists don’t come here.’

We explain our mission and show a picture of the bird we really hope to see in the area. Immediately we have a mentor who searches the village for someone who knows and we are off on a hike for a day or two to find that bird. Birding is a wonderful way to get to know a country and its people.”

Here are a few of Yvonne’s birds:

Guyanese cock of the rock

pygmy owl

red flamingo

For more info on Yvonne and Bernie (including more bird and cruising photos):
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What’s YOUR passion? Have you taken it cruising?
Let us know. Email kathy@forcruisers.com or leave a comment below.

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1 comment to Take Your Passion Cruising: Birdwatching

  • Nica

    It sounds like a wonderful book and one that I will be adding to my reading list. Will let you know what delights I find when I have read it. Cheers, Nica

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