About the book

"Timeless insights into the hidden dimensions of leadership"
- Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt, FRGS

Savage Coast is the inside story of Australia's first Arctic expedition.

Savage Coast is the raw story of what leadership is really like when your world goes upside down, and you are forced to confront your human flaws as you try to inspire your team to survive, endure, reframe and succeed.

It is both an important historical record of a major Australian achievement and a psychological exploration of the effects on both leader and team of complexity, isolation, continual uncertainty and the stresses of appalling weather and equipment failure.

On one level, Savage Coast is a business metaphor, revealing what it's like to attempt the impossible starting with nothing but an improbable idea, forced to learn everything on the journey with the ever-present risk of paying the ultimate price for failure.

On another level, Savage Coast provides a multi-layered narrative of leadership, revealing the essence of what you really need to know but sadly, Business Schools fail to teach. Here is the full story of a dream that took almost a decade of persistence and $2.5 million of sponsorship and philanthropy to bring to life, covering the lengthy creation of the expedition machine and its unexpected journey into the depths of Arctic winter.

Savage Coast is a valuable resource for understanding the human dimensions of leadership in the age of rapid climate change, with the fear of uncertainty that will emerge. It will help Millennial leaders who must face a future of escalating chaos and disruption as the world we once knew faces the prospect of Climate Collapse.

First published in 2010 as Seventh Journey, in an Author's Private Edition of 500 signed copies, with 16 pages of colour plates and 155 halftones throughout, this edition sold out quickly to private collectors and specialised libraries around the world.

Published in 2016, Savage Coast is a new edition which has been fully revised and updated with new research and extra maps, while retaining the 155 halftones throughout.


Watch the trailer to my film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CTmDX3Tai0&list=UU2OGjOLav7PHv5nfYUVk9-g&index=11

My professional work is Leadership Development. You can visit my site: DEBLONVILLE.COM

You can follow my Leadership thoughts and discussions on LinkedIn

Here is where you can view my Leadership videos.

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Praise for 'Savage Coast'


'A fascinating exploration of an explorer'
- Phillip Adams, AO. Broadcaster, film producer and author

'A powerful story of privation, courage, obstinacy and tenacity'
- Professor Barry Jones, AO. Writer, Australian Minister for Science 1983-90

'Makes valuable reading for today's business leaders'
- Jonathan Hutchings. Managing Director, World Wide Entertainment Ltd

'The action is utterly engrossing'
- Richard Gilmore. Executive Director EarthWatch Institute

'A disarmingly frank account. The writing soars'
- Andrew Hughes. Explorer, Founder Expedition-Class Online Learning

'A beautifully written and insightful story'
- Peter Hillary. Everest mountaineer & expedition leader. Author of international bestseller: 'The ghost country'

'A wonderful read and amazingly, it's all true!'
- John Bertrand, AM. Winner of the 1983 America's Cup. Author of international bestseller: 'Born to Win'.

'A masterpiece of exploration by a poet of action'
- Bill Green. Multi-award winning author. Screenwriter: 'Terminator 2'.

'Has the potential to become a classic in the genre'
- Rick Swinard. Corporate Affairs Manager, News Limited.

'A remarkable book and a classic of modern travel'
- Anthony Marshall. Award winning author and broadcaster.

'A truly exotic experience'
- Cheryl Barassi. Book reviewer & arts patron.

'An explosive mix of physical & human drama'
- Catherine Hammond. Editor & manuscript assessor for HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Allen & Unwin, Pearson.

'Earle is a romantic who knows how to bring history alive'
- Colin Monteath. Polar explorer & wilderness photographer.

Selected Reviews:
"There is a vast contrast between the hardships of polar travel and the stories that people tell afterwards. I recall very well the stark difference between the harsh reality of a long overland traverse of Antarctica and the post-hoc heroic rationalisations of some of my expedition members. Earle de Blonville has convincingly captured the reality of expedition life. He is refreshingly honest and direct. The book also provides fascinating insights into the personality of someone who would willingly embrace danger and great hardship. Described as pig-headed and an unrelenting bastard, de Blonville is inclined to agree with much of the description. A great read and fully captures the reality of leadership and adventure."
- Dr Iain McCormack. Polar Psychologist, New Zealand

"In a word, this book is literally 'un-put-downable'! The author disarms us with his self-deprecatory style, the lightness of the atmosphere, the ready admission of mistakes and even a questioning of his own capacity to bring it all off! The book is a rollicking adventure, the descriptions of nature in all her beauty and ferocity are entirely compelling. The human side of the drama emerges with deep insights into the complexity and unpredictability of reactions and relationships."
- Sir Gustav Nossal AO, FRS. Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne
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About the Author image

Earle de Blonville, FRGS

Earle de Blonville led Australia's first Arctic expedition, with HRH The Prince of Wales as Patron and Lord Shackleton as chief British Advisor. The project was supported by influential Australians, including Sir John Holland, who built Australia's new Parliament House, and Dr Phillip Law, Founding Director of the Australian Antarctic Division; and by business and political leaders, including the Prime Minister, the Hon Bob Hawke, and the Minister for Science, Prof the Hon Barry Jones. Funding was provided through film rights, and by the expedition leader.

The expedition involved a complex 12 month program that included a sea kayak circumnavigation of Tasmania's SW wilderness coast, the first unaided northerly crossing of notorious Bass Strait, several smaller voyages and training programs, and a crossing of the North Atlantic by yacht to finally begin the objective of a 1,000km sea kayak voyage down the coast of East Greenland.

Earle's film company produced a one-hour television documentary film of the expedition which was released internationally, through Discovery, CBC, BBC, ABC and smaller broadcasters in Europe and elsewhere. His critically acclaimed book of the expedition, 'Seventh Journey', is held in libraries and collections worldwide (and sold out). The new edited and revised edition, 'Savage Coast', is available online, or direct from Bear Books. '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 we now face in today's rapidly changing world adjusting to a post-pandemic future.

He began solo sea kayaking at 11 years old, became a professional mountain instructor in the UK, and later was a member of Australia’s first modern major sea kayak expedition, a 70-day, 1,600km circumnavigation of Tasmania. In his ice-strengthened yacht and expedition sea kayak, Earle has explored more than half of Greenland's navigable coast. His earlier experience in field science expeditions included Far East Gippsland, for the ANZ Scientific Exploration Society (Chief Leader), and an unvisited region of the Kimberley, 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. Earle was Director of the Tall Ships spectacular where the Prime Minister officially opened Australia's Bicentenary celebrations before an international television audience.

Earle is the founder of Bear Books publishing and was founding Chairman of the Oceanic Research Institute. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London, in 1984, and has been a Scientific Collaborator at the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, University of Catalonia, Spain, and Adjunct Professor and Professional Fellow at Southern Cross University, Australia.

Savage Coast - Australia's first Arctic expedition - 1985-86 - led by Earle de Blonville, FRGS
This is the theatrical trailer for the original one hour TV documentary, released internationally in 1987.
It was screened by Discovery Channel, in the US; Canada's CBC; the UK's BBC and in Australia, the ABC.
Also screened across Europe and South America with subtitles, as well as South Africa and Israel.
More recently shown in Denmark, France and Australia.

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Earle de Blonville