Aussie father and son embark on expedition from South to North Pole to promote net-zero travel
The bond between Dr Wilson and filmmaker Kitale, is strong - strong enough, they hope, to change the world.
The adventurers are making last-minute preparations for Project Zero which will take them from the warmth of the Gold Coast beaches, and the safety of their Currumbin home, to Patagonia, Antarctica and the Arctic. Their vessel is a specially adapted steel-hulled, carbon-neutral boat, powered by solar, hydro and wind power.
Setting out on August 13 from Southport on Nanook X, Dr Wilson and Kitale will undertake an ambitious seven-expedition odyssey over two years, exploring the world’s most isolated and vulnerable environments. They will be joined by two other crew members: drone pilot Jordy Pearson and 1st mate Alistair “Crusty” Burton. From the South Pole to the North Pole, Dr Wilson will meet the world’s leading climate scientists and advocates while Kitale will capture the images showing the impact global warming is having on these magnificent landscapes. Adventure is in their DNA; Dr Wilson received the 2023 Lifetime of Adventure Award from the Australian Geographic Society, in recognition of his exploration and research of the harshest environments across the globe. His son brings the same passion to the project, albeit with a different skill set.
They share the aim of educating Aussies and the world, in a fun and informative way, about climate change, and will present practical tips on how to change our lifestyle and reduce our impact on the Earth. But before they change the world, they will need to meet their own challenges, not the least will be bonding as a team, backed by an expert crew.
“The first leg will be one of the most difficult,” says Dr Wilson.
“As we gel as a team, we’ll be dealing hour after hour with rough seas south of New Zealand; icebergs need to be avoided, storms handled and the boat has to be nursed through some of the world’s roughest oceans over 6,000 nautical miles to Southern Chile then into the Patagonian Fjords.” He says the biggest single risk to the project is ice that could crush the vessel, or trap it, stopping progress.
The duo is ready.
“Kit brings his strong climbing and ropes work to the game; I bring polar and crevasse survival knowledge, calm head under fire, leadership and forward drive to the party.” Where possible Project Zero will seek to use green modes of transport by sailing, hiking, kite-power and skiing. The journey can be followed at www.projectzero.earth and via Instagram @drgeoffwilson and @kitalewilson.