About CEO: “Oceanic Research Institute”

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Earle de Blonville, FRGS



Earle de Blonville is Chief Executive Officer of the “Oceanic Research Institute” (ORI) and supervising skipper of ORI’s Research Expedition Vessels (REVs). He 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. Read more about “Oceanic Research Institute“.

Oceanic Research Institute” founding concept draws on Earle’s deep love of the sea. From solo sea kayaking at 11 years old, through racing modern yachts (FYC & CYCA), to restoring and racing traditional boats, the sea has always been his passion. In 1979 he was a member of Australia’s first modern major sea kayak expedition, a 70-day, 1,600km circumnavigation of Tasmania and later he led the first northerly sea kayak crossing of infamous Bass Strait.

Earle has explored more than half of Greenland’s navigable coast in his ice-strengthened yacht. In 1985-86, under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales, he mounted and led Australia’s first Arctic expedition, a 1,000km voyage by sea kayak and yacht along the coast of East Greenland. His expedition documentary film ‘Savage Coast’ was released internationally, broadcast by major networks including Discovery, CBC, BBC and ABC.

Earle’s book ‘Savage Coast’ is described by Sir Gustav Nossal (Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Strategic Advisory Council) as providing “Deep insights into complexity and unpredictability”, the key challenges in today’s rapidly changing world.

In 1987 – 88 Earle was Director of the Tall Ships spectacular where the 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. More recently Earle has sailed in Tall Ships events in Europe and is connected with the inspiring leaders of the rapidly evolving Trade Under Sail movement.

His planned management and leadership of maritime scientific expeditions to the world’s most remote locations, travelling in traditional wooden sailing vessels, will draw on his earlier experience of field science expeditions to Far East Gippsland, for the ANZ Scientific Exploration Society (Chief Leader), and to an unvisited area of the Kimberley region, for the museums of Victoria and Western Australia (Co-leader). He also undertook field reconnaissance for the Royal Geographical Society’s 1988 Bicentenary Kimberley Research Project.