Sunday, 27 June 2010

1810 or 1811?

If you read any other websites or information on Rockall you'll note that there has been some dispute over whether the first landing by Basil Hall from HMS Endymion was in 1810 or 1811. This obviously has some impact on whether 2011 is the relevant year in which to have a 200th anniversary landing! I thought it prudent to clarify the position through a quote from James Fisher's book Rockall, which is the most completely researched narrative available:

"After the Rockall landing of 1955...I made routine checks at Public Records Office of the logs of H.M.S. Endymion. We discovered, to our surprise, that the famous first landing on Rockall by Basil Hall and other members of the company of...Endymion had taken place not on 8 July 1810, as was generally supposed, but on Sunday, 8 September 1811.

This curious mistake, which has been almost universally quoted in the literature, springs without doubt from Purdy's Memoir, which was regarded as the authoritative 'pilot' of the day. It is just as well we checked the log."

As Fisher was a respected scientist, had no reason to benefit from ascertaining the actual date of the landing as 1811, and appears to be the only person who has undertaken the required research of the logs, I am inclined to agree with his conclusion.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

11 months and counting…

Over 5,000 hits on the website!

Things are moving along, albeit slowly. I've had last year's quote for the yacht charter confirmed. I was hoping that it would have come down a little, but no such luck! The skipper has kindly said that he will make deductions on various bases which may help out. In addition, if I can get the press coverage I'm hoping for then some berths may be taken by journalists which would help out with the costs.

I am in the process of finalising my food list with the supplier, which is interesting as I have decided what I'll want to eat for two months in a year's time!. I hope my tastes don't suddenly change. They initially quoted for 6,500 calories per day, being more used to polar expeditions. Once I'd reminded them that I'll only have a few square metres in which to move around it was suddenly reduced to 2,500 calories.

Also, following some recent press on another person's (now cancelled) attempt to land on Rockall this year, I have resurrected my dialogue with The Telegraph who have said that they would probably cover the expedition story in some shape or form.

Finally, I'm just awaiting revised costing for the construction of the RockPod and then I can start approaching potential financial sponsors. To this end, my good friend Damian has kindly produced an expedition brochure outlining the aims and with a brief biography of me. Please feel free to follow the link and distribute the brochure to anyone you feel may be able to help, as I suspect that raising the circa £30k required is going to be one of the toughest aspects of the whole expedition!