Earle de Blonville, FRGS


Earle de BlonvilleChief Executive Officer of the Oceanic Research Institute (ORI) and skipper of ORI’s Research Expedition Vessels (REVs). Earle is an Adjunct Professional Fellow at Southern Cross University, Australia; a Fellow of the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, University of Catalonia, Spain; and since 1984, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK.

ORI facilitates Discovery Science for world-leading researchers and students with traditional sailing expeditions to the earth’s wildest places using zero carbon and acoustic technologies.

ORI is Australia’s first oceanic and climate research organisation designed to operate internationally in remote regions that are largely unknown to science. ORI is aimed at multidisciplinary research aboard traditional wooden sailing ships – the most sustainable vessels available today.

Earle’s early career was as a professional mountain instructor in the UK. In 1979 he completed the first successful sea kayak circumnavigation of Tasmania, and later led the first northerly sea kayak crossing of Bass Strait. In 1985-86 he mounted and led Australia’s first Arctic expedition, under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales, and has explored more than half of Greenland’s navigable coast by sea kayak and ice-strengthened yacht. His expedition documentary film ‘Savage Coast’ was released internationally, broadcast by major networks including Discovery, CBC, BBC and ABC. His book ‘Savage Coast’ is described by Sir Gustav Nossal (Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Strategic Advisor Council) as providing “Deep insights into complexity and unpredictability.”

In 1987 – 88 Earle was Director of the Tall Ships spectacular where the Australian Prime Minister officially opened Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations before an international television audience. This multi-million dollar event involved 70 international vessels, 500 crew and 500 local volunteers. With over 1.5 million visitors in four days (almost 50% of Melbourne’s population), it was the largest staged event in Victoria’s history.