British explorer finally reaches Point Nemo – the most remote place on Earth

Explorer Chris Brown and his son Mika celebrate their successful expedition to Point Nemo, Earth’s most remote spot, with a plunge into the Pacific.
Explorer Chris Brown and his son Mika celebrate their successful expedition to Point Nemo, Earth's most remote spot, with a plunge into the Pacific.
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Explorer Chris Brown has successfully completed his expedition to Point Nemo – the most remote place on Earth.

To celebrate the incredible achievement, the 62-year-old entrepreneur and his son Mika, 30, donned wetsuits and plunged into the Pacific where they hoisted bunting that spelled N.E.M.O in maritime flags.

Finding Nemo means the father-of-two from Harrogate, North Yorkshire has just two of earth’s Poles of Inaccessibility left to visit, the Northern and the Eurasian.

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After slipping into the water, Chris spent around 20 minutes enjoying the world’s loneliest swim – 2,688 kilometres from the nearest land.

“It is fantastic to have reached Point Nemo finally after all these years of planning,” he said.

“I have been thinking for a while of how to mark the occasion.

At all the other Poles of Inaccessibility I have stood with my Garmin, showing the coordinates, and the flag of the country.

Explorer Chris Brown and his son Mika celebrate their successful expedition to Point Nemo, Earth's most remote spot, with a plunge into the Pacific.
Chris with his Garmin showing the exact coordinates of Point Nemo. (Picture: Jam Press)

“But this time I decided to jump into the water and the bunting of the flags spelled out N.E.M.O because it is in international waters.

“The water was quite bracing, at nine or 10 degrees celsius, but it was the most magnificent blue that you could ever imagine.”

Occasional research boats and participants in world yacht races have come close to Point Nemo, without reaching the exact coordinates.

And maritime professionals have previously stated that “it is possible that no human has ever passed through the specific coordinates.”

“Whilst it is possible somebody may have inadvertently been to the Nemo coordinates, what we have done is remove any doubt,” said Chris, better known as @‌chrisbrownexplores on TikTok.

“We couldn’t spend too long in the water as the waves were already up to around two and a half metres.

“The captain had shown us an impending hurricane force storm, so we had to limit the time we spent at Point Nemo.

“It’s also a fantastic culmination to this specific expedition which has taken us 10 days of sailing through some pretty rough waters to reach this location.

“We took some water samples of the sea, which will be analysed for microplastics on our return, but we were quite pleased to see at least 20 marine birds in our immediate vicinity, which shows there must be some biodiversity at Point Nemo, which has been questioned in the past.

Explorer Chris Brown and his son Mika celebrate their successful expedition to Point Nemo, Earth's most remote spot, with a plunge into the Pacific.
Chris on the bridge of the Hanse Explorer with third officer Oleksandr Khanas. (Picture: Jam Press)

“I am really chuffed to have visited six of the eight Poles of Inaccessibility.

“I think my next trip will be a little less arduous, maybe somewhere that the most difficult task facing me will be choosing which beer to have at the pool bar.”

Chris and Mika, who works as a general manager of a tech company, left for the epic voyage from Puerto Montt in Chile on 12 April.

Point Nemo is so remote that the nearest humans to the spot are astronauts in the International Space Station, which is ‘just’ 408 km above it in low earth orbit.

Prior to this adventure, Chris had already visited five of Earth’s eight continental Poles of Inaccessibility in Antarctica, Australasia, Africa, North America and South America.

He is now the first person to document an expedition to Point Nemo, which is also known as the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility.

And certainly the first to enter the water.

But Chris says he wasn’t daunted by the dangers of visiting a place where few, if any, humans have ever been before.

He said: “I didn’t consider this to be as dangerous as my expeditions to Africa or Antarctica.

Explorer Chris Brown and his son Mika celebrate their successful expedition to Point Nemo, Earth's most remote spot, with a plunge into the Pacific.
Chris and Mika in the water at Nemo. (Picture: Jam Press)

“The obvious danger was that you’re miles from anywhere on the sea, and you’re going to be a long way from any of the shipping lanes so if there was a problem with the boat, help would be a long time coming.

“I’ve been planning this trip for around five years, and finally got firm action plans in place over the last six months.

“I looked at different methods of getting to Point Nemo.

“Racing yachts can obviously get there quicker as they’ll be lighter.

“But we knew we would experience tough conditions at 48 degrees South, so I chose something a bit more robust.

“I thought that tankers could get us there but it’s not a recognised shipping route, so there’s nothing that goes that way.

“I then came across the Hanse Explorer, which normally takes people down to Antarctica.

“Coincidentally, it was repositioning after the Antarctic summer, which is our winter, from Chile, French Polynesia.

Explorer Chris Brown and his son Mika celebrate their successful expedition to Point Nemo, Earth's most remote spot, with a plunge into the Pacific.
Chris at the bow of the Hanse explorer. (Picture: Jam Press)

“And that meant it was going fairly close to where we wanted to be.”

The Hanse Explorer has Zodiac inflatable ribs, which enabled Chris and Mika to get to the exact point because these are more nimble than the Hanse.

The explorer, who logs his adventures on inaccessibility.net, added “After a bit of negotiation, the owners agreed to our slight detour, so it was all systems go.”

Chris first hit the headlines around the world in June last year, when it emerged he pulled out of a trip to the wreck of the Titanic on the doomed Titan submersible amid safety concerns.

POINT NEMO FACTS

  • Nemo is Latin for “no one”

  • Point Nemo is named after the famous Captain from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

  • Whilst the location has always existed, its relevance has only been known since 1992 when Croatian-Canadian survey engineer Hrvoje Lukatela used a geo-spatial computer program that incorporated the planet’s ellipsoid shape to calculate the point furthest from land.

  • The sea depth at Point nemo is approximately 4,000 metres. The surface temperature is expected to be around 7°C

  • The first ship to sail close to Point Nemo was the Spanish research vessel Hespérides in 1999.

  • Ocean race competitors approach Point Nemo in the leg between Auckland, New Zealand, and Itajaí, Brazil. It is not a ‘mark’ so the boats only need to be ‘close’ to the point.

  • More than 100 pieces of space junk have been brought back down to Earth close to Point Nemo including the remnants of the Russian Mir Space Station.


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