Antarctic Voyage Log 2011-2012

The story of my incredible experience in Antarctica in December 2011–January 2012 is now available as a PDF for download. It’s the  voyage log that I wrote much of, edited, designed, and laid out. This is what occupied me from February until it was completed in electronic format in May 2012. To my great joy, the printed version turned out beautifully and has been mailed out to voyage participants. It’s not available for purchase but it look stunning on screen, so please take a look.

Cover of the voyage log I compiled and designed for my first Antarctic expedition with Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Cover of the voyage log I compiled and designed for my first Antarctic expedition with Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris


It was an amazing adventure being a naturalist staff member for Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris in the Southern Ocean. I’m thrilled to be going back again on their special geology-focused trip this year, 12/27/12 to 1/20/13. We’ll be going again to the Falkland Islands, incredible South Georgia Island, and the exquisite land of ice, the Antarctic Peninsula. I’ll be doing the log again, too. The trip I’m on is full but they are doing an unusually long and in-depth Antarctic Peninsula only voyage, 12/30/12 to 1/17/13. If you’re thinking about visiting Antarctica, I highly recommend checking out this exceptional tour which will likely not happen again.

As I write this in early August, 2012 it’s high season for whale-watching in Monterey Bay, and I’m on the Monterey Bay Whale Watch boat almost every single day. We’re seeing humpback whales, blue whales, killer whales, and dolphins, and sharing them with visitors from all over the world. The voyage log was a huge project and once the whale-watching slows down a bit after summer I hope to have more time for drawing on the amazing images and inspirations from the Antarctic, and turning them into art for my sponsors and everyone.

Antarctica Was Incredible — Everything I’d Hoped

My 26-day voyage to Antarctica aboard the M/V Ortelius as tour staff with Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris was AMAZING. I have returned to California with sketches of nesting albatrosses and penguins, small watercolors of glaciers and ocean cliffs, 6,300 photos of icebergs and every possible creature, a couple hours of delightful video, many new friends, and innumerable stories to share.

As I sift through it all I’ll be posting here, “back-blogging” or “retro-blogging.” It turned out to be nearly impossible to post regularly from the ship because of limited internet access but more importantly because our schedule of landings was so intense that catching a little sleep became more important.

It was all 100% worth it and I would turn around and do it again in a heartbeat. I hope you’ll stay tuned to live through the trip again with me.

I would like to warmly thank all my fantastic sponsors who literally helped keep me warm in the chilly Antarctic waters. I was properly outfitted for the elements and everything at home was shipshape while I was at sea, thanks to your support that flooded in when I was invited to sail on very short notice. It’s my genuine pleasure now to mold the experiences of the Antarctic into artwork for each of you.

Limited edition sponsorships are still availabe for anyone who didn’t sign up before the trip and who wants in on the first artistic results of this polar adventure. Sponsors who sign up now will help insure I can spend the coming weeks in my art studio, creating new works from the fresh store of inspiration I accumulated during the voyage. I have months’ worth of painting ideas!

Sponsor Kate’s studio time!

I also have the makings of a great multi-media presentation, so if you have a venue where you’d like me to give an illustrated talk about my Antarctic experience just drop me a line [intlink id=”15″ type=”page”]here[/intlink]. I’m looking forward to sharing all the amazing things I’ve seen in every way I can.

Kate’s Going to Antarctica!

Sometimes dreams come true when you least expect them!

On very short notice I’ve agreed to join the naturalist staff of Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris‘ 26-day voyage to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula — leaving in just two weeks!


I fly on December 28, 2011 to Ushuaia, Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego on the Beagle Channel, where we’ll set sail on New Year’s Eve aboard the M/V Ortelius. The itinerary is incredible: three days in the Falklands, six days on South Georgia, one day in the South Orkneys, and a full week on and around the Antarctic Peninsula.

I’ll be soaking up incredible scenery, amazing wildlife, and the power of the great Southern Ocean. I’ve sailed that heaving ocean before — and loved every minute — in a much larger ship, as far as Cape Horn and the eastern Falkland Islands. This time I am delighted and honored to be working on a small, ice-strengthened expedition vessel as part of a tour staff of 15 and only 95 passengers.

There is a lot to do between now and departure, and of course Christmas is right in the middle of it. I’m going over my foul weather gear, pondering portable art supplies, and getting everything taken care of on the home front. There’s location research, travel arrangements, and, these days, getting the digital equipment shipshape. It’s a bit overwhelming, but it will all be worth it when I see my first nesting albatross.

KateWithPenguins2959 KateAsPenguin2958


 Here’s me getting into the penguin spirit at a Magellanic penguin rookery near Punta Arenas, Chile. They sit like that for hours, then bend and preen just when you want to take a picture.