Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Last Explorer

There are some true stories greater than fiction, and this rings true with the life of George 'Hubert' Wilkins.  For within this Australian's existence, was enough adventure and experience for seven life times.  One of the great Arctic explorers and so much more, it is sad that so many do not know more about this pioneer.

I read 'the last explorer' by Simon Nasht during our New Zealand to Rarotonga leg.  This was a long passage where the endless blue ocean stayed uninterrupted for eighteen  days.  I wanted to read a book that would engage my brain and inspire me. When curled up in my bunk, I wanted to escape into an exciting life (however I did not want this in reality - mundane straight sailing beats storms any day).  Hubert Wilkins' story certainly did that.

Born in South Australia, along with his Arctic and Antarctic exploration (where he pioneered early aviation and in the Arctic used submarines), he constantly cheated death, coming across firing squads and world war one's front line. Yet he also suffered devastating set backs that would break a weaker man. Stranger than fiction, I read whenever I could.

 In Hubert Wilkins biography, you are able to capture a time in history when the world was made smaller by forward thinkers like him.  Because while I read about the Antartic landscape and am in awe, I know that one day I could visit, if I really wanted.  This is because of men like Hubert, that the world is that much more accessible  to the likes of you and I.

Definitely worth a read.

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