04 July 2014: Rockall solo adventurer Nick Hancock is approaching the half way mark of his attempt to beat two endurance records on the isolated Atlantic rock of Rockallsolo – and credits Inmarsat for helping him to keep going.
Nick is aiming to smash the current 40-day solo record set by SAS veteran Tom McClean nearly 20 years ago, and the 42-day record set by three Greenpeace campaigners in 1997 by living alone on Rockall for 60 days.
But his hopes of staying that long may have been scuppered by a storm that lashed the islet in the early hours of 2 July.
Nick was forced to hunker down as Force 8 winds tore into his 8-foot (2.4 metres) converted plastic water tank accommodation.
He was later able to contact his support team via Inmarsat to confirm he was unharmed – but had lost vital rations when they were swept away by the waves.
“It may be that I have lost barrels with more than two weeks of supplies. If that is the case, I may be unable to continue for 60 days as I had planned,” he reported.
Inmarsat has provided Nick with airtime and a Cobham SATCOM Explorer 710 terminal – allowing him to stream live video via BGAN HDR – and an IsatPhone 2 satellite phone donated by Wireless Innovation, an Inmarsat service provider.
BGAN has also allowed the chartered surveyor to blog, update his Facebook page and tweet to his 2,500 followers about his experiences, acknowledging that Inmarsat has helped to keep him going since his arrival on 5 June.
Speaking before the storm hit, Nick said: “I’m looking forward to the next 20 days – breaking the two occupation records and the half way point of the expedition, and then the run into heading home.”
“I think my state of mind has been greatly helped by modern technology and Inmarsat satellite communications, which have enabled me to not only tweet and post my blogs – which gives me something to write – but, more importantly for me personally, has allowed me to speak to and see family and friends via Skype.
“When Tom McClean was here he only had a VHF radio which would make this a very different experience altogether.”
Nick was recently interviewed by adventurer Ben Fogle via Skype for US TV network NBC and has been interviewed on IsatPhone 2 by The Sun, Daily Mail and The Times newspapers.