Thursday, 31 May 2012

Disappointed, yet positive...

So, day three in Harris and I was all set to depart this morning for Rockall. I started the day with a live interview for Good Morning Scotland, which was thankfully brief as it was my first live interview, but I forgot to mention Help for Heroes and the expedition website. Such a professional!

Next was sorting kit a final time and breakfast. Off I went down to the jetty, all positive and raring to go. Had a coffee from the butty van whilst also doing a phone interview for Ian McIver's blog.

Just as the BBC turned up from Stornoway, the Anguses (both the skipper and the relief skipper are called Angus) started to look unhappy. I recorded an interview for BBC Alba with the boat Orca 3 in the background, which I am reliably informed went out at 8pm tonight, and once finished Angus C (as opposed to Angus S) took me aside to say that there was oil in the engine coolant water - not a good thing.

After much humming and hawing a call was made to the engine manufacturer, who apparently knew what the issue was straight away as it has happened a couple of times before! Now bearing in mind that Orca 3 is about 1 month old, you'd have thought they'd have fixed the issue before launch.

Anyway, a part has been sent from Glasgow to Uig on Skye, and the Angii have taken the boat over on one engine. It should take a couple of hours to fix and then an hour back here on two engines. Hopefully that means that we still get away tonight, and missing the slight detour to St Kilda, going direct to Rockall we should still be there within a few hours of our original planned arrival time.

This has all meant yet more waiting around on Harris. Myself, Pennie from the Beeb, Nick and Mike from The Sun, and Bob from headed back to North Harris to see Golden Eagles. Yet again disappointment, no eagles after half an hour's walk into the hide. Its a good job that the visitors' book isn't at the start of the walk as no-one would go out there; it appears that there's never any eagles to be seen.

Back a Leverburgh, there's no Orca 3, which for once is a good thing. Dinner at The Anchorage (again) and then to the bunkhouse to hang about and wait some more. After a few hours sleep, still no further news, so now its off to bed in case of an early wake up call.

Watch this space...
Nick Hancock FRGS
The Rockall Jubilee Expedition 2012

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