Thursday, 30 April 2009

Belgians' unsuccessful in landing attempt

I learnt this morning that due to bad weather, the Belgian expedition to Rockall has been called off and they are returning to Stornoway. Their website ( states:

"Landing on Rockall impossible
The skipper of the "Elinca" did not allow a landing on Rockall. The waves are too high; even launching a Zodiac is impossible.A very sad Theo, ON4ATW told us at 09.00 UT they will have to come back to Scotland. "The weather is worsening by the hour and the weather forecast for the coming days does not give any hope" he told us by satphone. For tomorrow 5 Bft winds are forecasted with gusts up to 80 km/h. We are all very disappointed that after all these preparations a landing was not possible. However we learned a lot about all the aspects of putting up a DXpedition. One way or another this knowledge will be used."

This lack of success highlights the difficulties of landing on Rockall, even with the best preparation which they had, when you are tied to particular time period in which to make a landing. I have a lot of respect for what these guys tried to achieve and wish them the best of luck for any future attempt.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Press Coverage

The expedition has had not one but two pieces of newspaper coverage in the past week. Ben Fogle wrote about the expedition in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday. Luckily a friend let me know as I was not aware that Ben intended to write about it. If you missed the article in the paper, there's a link on the website below. Secondly, the Yorkshire Post, in an article about Andy Strangeway's second attempt to land on Rockall, has set up a Yorkshire - Lancashire rivalry.
Also in the past week, Andy Bell and I sat down and went over the initial drawings for the survival pod (now casually 'christened' RockPod). We agreed that it could be smaller to allow easier transportation and erection by one man, and we also agreed on some smaller detailing regarding venting, access, windows, and sealing.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Shelter Design Update

I thought I'd share this footage with you. My good friend Andy Bell, an architect, is in the process of designing a shelter for me in which to survive comfortably on Rockall and has sent me this movie of the shelter on Rockall. Although the shape of Rockall is not wholly accurate as Andy has mapped it from photographs, its very good and includes a man for scale which really allows you to appreciate the size of Rockall and the lack of space once the shelter is in place on Hall's Ledge.
I'll be seeing Andy in a week or two, when we will be going over the detailed drawings for the design and updating it with ideas and information which we have individually collated over the past few months and with any options that come out of our discussion.