This guy had two things to do: securely attach everything to the rock, and wait. He failed the first part. Lack of preparation? Amateurism? Suddenly that 60-day objective was never a true goal...
Brit adventurer Nick Hancock is preparing to leave the North Atlantic islet of Rockall, short of his planned 60-day stay but probably after he breaks the two existing occupation records. Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall. Pic: Nick Hancock Not long now: Nick Hancock and his survival podule atop Rockall …
Have you ever been in a serious storm at sea? You can tie things down as much as you like but if the elements want to rip it away there's very little to stop it. You really have no idea of the power until you're in the middle of it...shitting yourself....
I'd say the 60 day goal was a target rather than an objective (pedant alert), probably ambitious knowing the records were well short of that, but you can't blame someone for not trying!
All in all I think I'd say 'If you can do better mate...'
"You can tie things down as much as you like but if the elements want to rip it away there's very little to stop it"
And it's surprising how high the water can reach. A friend of mine was working halfway up one lighthouse in northern europe (over 100 feet above the water) and got himself (and all his test equipment) soaked by a rogue wave.
Yes, I have been in a serious storm at sea (75 kt winds lasting 5 hours) - in a 31 foot yacht at night. The sound is perhaps the worst aspect, it is so loud it stops you thinking straight and inhibits communication. However, despite the fact that I had had no previous experience of such a storm, I had been able to get sufficient knowledge to ensure that everything was lashed down securely enough that there was no damage and insignificant loss of equipment (just one danbuoy broke away and went adrift).
"You can tie things down as much as you like but if the elements want to rip it away there's very little to stop it."
Okay, but in this case the straps were fine. However he allowed a weak link in the connection between the barrels and their handles, which was the failure point. Easy to point out after the fact, I know. Still, had he strapped up the barrels themselves, rather than just the handles, he might have retained that food.
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British government plaques, although I think Greenpeace put something up there too. We were too busy being extremely pleased with ourselves atop the rock to bother with flag-waving plaquery. "Get oorf moi rooock" would have been a good move, though.
Ah, appears the diversion via St John's is a research cruise to measure water circulation fluxes in the subpolar North Atlantic.
Here's our plucky adventurer from the James Clark Ross end of the telescope:
"although I think the pod will survive the fall, the shock of hitting the water may crack the hatches, and if the pod were then to roll, it would fill with water and be lost".
Oddly - I'd assumed the survival pod was a life-raft as well (in case it got swept off into the ocean by heavy seas.... something that nearly happened). Obviously not.
So, the previous record-holder was up there with what....a tent and sleeping bag?
And I'm guessing, before that, the SAS guy got to the rock, jumped in the water and wrestled the biggest octopus he could find back to it. He then used the octopus to strap himself to the windward side and spent the next 40 days daring Neptune to knock him off. Finding Neptune a laughably over-rated opponent, he got bored and left.
This guy (rather impressively) drags a small apartment complex up there, enjoys an extended vacation in what passes for the "Rockall Lap of Luxury" and every one's prepared to concede him the record?
Shouldn't circumstances count for something?
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