Today, and I can hardly believe I'm typing this, it is exactly three weeks until I leave for Leverburgh on Harris to await a suitable weather window for departure and a hopefully successful second landing on Rockall.
I can hardly believe it, as its been such a long road to this point, which has suddenly arrived out of no-where! I have been very lucky, particularly this year, in having obtained all the funding I need for the expedition, which has been the sticking point for the last two years and the lack of which was the main reason for postponing the expedition in both 2011 and 2012. I'd like to thanks LPG Exceptional Energy, Calor, DM Hall, Kukri, Petrostrat and Ocean Row Events for all their help and support so far.
In addition, most of my transportation has been agreed in the past four months, and I have also confirmed that all the generous offers of equipment still stood, and have been ordering shiny kit with relish the house now looks like an equipment store. So much in fact has fallen into place in 2013, that I'm starting to suspect that the hand of destiny might be playing a part. Packing has been interesting, as everything has to fit in the plastic drums provided by Smiths of Dean. An initial rough distribution and packing session revealed that I have more than enough space for everything, and I have subsequently repacked neatly, which has left me with space for the kit which I am still awaiting, such as survey gear, satellite phone, and wind turbine; all of which are ordered and should arrive in the next week or so.
This time of year is always busy with expedition and adventure news: the Marathon des Sables was run at the start of the month and which I ran back in 2010, only a year into the planning of the then Rockall 2011 expedition; I was far too optimistic! Bob Kerr, who went out to Rockall with me last year, is currently climbing his own Everest (literally) and is about to move up to Advance Base Camp on the North side of the highest mountain in the world. Sarah Outen, one of the judges of the Kukri Adventure Scholarship, which I've shared this year, has just departed from Japan on her second attempt to row solo across the Pacific to Canada as part or her larger London to London via the World expedition.
Unfortunately, however, Niall Iain MacDonald, who was also a recipient of the Kukri Adventure Scholarship this year, and with whom I have been in touch since we both postponed our respective Atlantic adventures last year, has had to postpone NY2SY yet again. I know some of how he feels, and I wish him all the luck for 2014.
Right, I'm going back to packing kit, but remember you can sponsor me in aid of Help for Heroes at www.justgiving.com/rockallsolo . More news soon!