A long overdue introduction – The Nature Guide

I’m Colette, and I’ll be the nature guide for the voyage. That means that while we’re sailing (or on land) I’ll try to spot, point out and tell people about the nature along the way. BUT I will also put up blog posts about anything exciting we see. And we expect to see a lot of exciting wildlife!! I thought the best way to introduce myself was with a little interview:



Colette “Cliggy” Matthewman

Where are you from?


What do you do for a living?

I’m a plant biology researcher. I like working with green things! I was last working as a postdoc in Denmark trying to understand how barley plants regulate senescence – the process that causes the field to go golden before harvest. The timing of senescence has a strong influence on how much grain is produced, and what nutritional value it has.

Which legs are you on?

I’m doing the entire trip with the exception of the 1st Antarctic leg. Then I’ll be getting off and travelling overland with family to see the Iguacu Falls and the Pantanal in Brazil (lots more wildlife!!)

What role are you taking?

I am the Nature Guide for the trip. This doesn’t mean I know everything about the wildlife for the whole trip yet, but I’m very good at spotting wildlife and am brushing up my knowledge on the areas I don’t know. I am fairly hot on polar nature from my last trip to Antarctica, and a trip as a nature guide to Svalbard in the Arctic.

I’m also in charge of looking after the finances for the trip.


To see Orca – a lifelong dream that has eluded me so far. Also to do my yachtmaster theory aong the way.

What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about seeing Orca, penguin chicks in Antarctica, huge gatherings of penguins and seals in South Georgia, and the albatrosses. So I guess in general the nature…oh and some good Argentine Malbecs!!

What are you most nervous about?

I’m most nervous about big storms on the drake passage

What have you been doing leading up to the trip?

Aside from looking after the money and making sure it’s all there and being spent wisely, I’ve been helping to get Elinca ready for our trip abroad. That includes tasks from cleaning bilges to hanging cupboard doors to making food lists.

What will you miss most from home?

I’ll miss my family, and especially seeing and helping with the redecoration of my sisters new house (save a little corner of painting for me!). Also I’ll miss my viking boats!


If anyone has nature related questions about something I post on the blog, or anything for the regions we’re sailing to, either post them on the blog or email them and I’ll answer them as soon as I can: adventure2013schools@gmail.com

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1 Response to A long overdue introduction – The Nature Guide

  1. Gemma says:

    Big storms in the Drake Passage??? What? I thought you said it was flat calm the last time! I was sure we have requested fair weather for that bit.

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