In March 2024 I'll be setting of on an expedition to try and reach Point Nemo, otherwise known as the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibilty. This is the point which is furthest from any landmass in any direction. The closest land to Point Nemo is 2,688 kilometres away! Take your choice from Pitcairn Islands, Moto Nui in the Easter Islands, and Maher Island in Antarctica
The closest humans to Point Nemo are usually the astronauts on board the ISS (International Space Station) which is a 'mere' 415 kilometres from the pole.
The name "Point Nemo" comes from the Latin word 'nemo' which means 'nobody' in English. The name was chosen by a Croatian survey engineer, Hrvoje Lukatela, who was studying ocean currents at the time and named the point after Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He used a geo-spatial computer program that incorporated the planet's ellipsoid shape to calculate the point furthest from land.
It was thought that Nemo is so remote that "it is unlikely that anyone will ever visit it". Well, we aim to prove that wrong!
Point Nemo Location
The coordinates of Point Nemo are Latitude 48°52.6'S, Longitude 123°23.6'W.
Here is a map of its location between the bottom of Chile and New Zealand
The closest continent is Antarctica, at around 2,700km south of this Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility. Similarly, the closest Earth-bound habitation can be found at Pitcairn Island to the North East, also around 2,700km away. If you are interested in more stats, the ocean floor is around 4,000 metres at nemo and the average water temperature is just 7.2°C.
Nemo also sits in an area called The South Pacific Gyre which is complex system of rotating currents in the Pacific; a convergence of The Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the Humbolt Current and the West Wind Drift. As a result, lots of oceanic debris, that is rubbish, gets caught in the system and makes this area of the Pacific a sort-of oceanic garbage patch :-(.
There are believed to be no fish or other marine life in the area with the lack of nutrients making it difficult for even the hardiest species to survive. Currently, only bacteria and tiny crabs have been discovered to live in the volcanic vents on the seafloor near Point Nemo. Scientists have described it as "the least biologically active region of the world ocean".
Adding to the problem is the fact that this remote place has also been chosen by various nations to dump their space debris, such as the Russian Mir space station. Or, as it is politely termed, "destination for decommissioned spacecraft". Obviously, it is unlikely to hit anything in such a remote location.
Note to self: take a helmet!
How we plan to get to Point Nemo
We plan to sail to Point Nemo onboard the expedition craft Hanse Explorer
This ship is a true expedition yacht with advanced navigational equipment which will be helpful locating our exact position.
Normally the Hanse Explorer is used to take people to and from the Antarctic, due to its high Ice Class and steel hull. We are taking advantage of the repositioning of the craft after its Antarctic 'season' to get us to Point Nemo. Her engines run on light marine gas oil, which means it has a low environmental, and a bunker capacity for up to 40 days at sea or 8,000 nautical miles.