My voyage with Quark Expeditions as Artist-in-Residence began with a blur of meeting new people, discovering new rhythms, and finding my place on the Clipper Adventurer. We left Ushuaia February 2nd and headed north-east to the Falkland Islands. I thought I had my sea legs until we were chased by a storm and winds that gusted more than 100+ knots – I tossed up my lunch (I’m now feeling much better!).
Visiting West Island and Stanley on the Falklands, we learned the history of the not-yet-so-historic 1982 Argentine English war when Argentina occupied the Falklands. They remained English, but signs are still posted warning of uncleared mine fields. I also sketched some lovely wildlife, including Rockhopper and Magellenic penguins and all sorts of Albatross and birds.
Leaving the Falklands, we spent two days sailing 750 miles down to South Georgia. Seas were a bit rough, at one point 5m – 7m swells. Tables slid, dishes slipped, and everyone was advised to stay in bed. I was relieved when yesterday we finally spotted South Georgia, as well as our first icebergs. Being that my project is “Painting Ice” it’s good to finally be around it! And land ho’ is lovely after a rocky ride on the ocean.
Here on South Georgia are amazing numbers of wildlife, and today I’ve had the opportunity to go ashore with King penguins, Fur seals, Gentoo penguins, and nesting Albatross. I do feel acutely aware of tourism’s impact- 100+ people ashore and a ship that burns 20 tons of fuel a day. It is a privilege to visit these regions and I feel a responsibility to share my passion for conscientious environmental action through my art. On that note, my sketching continues!
That’s my news from the Southern Ocean. Check back soon for updates!