19 June 2014: Two weeks into his attempt to set new world records by living solo for 60 days on the islet of Rockall, Nick Hancock says being able to see his loved ones face-to-face has had a ‘massive impact’ in keeping up his spirits.
The adventurer is attempting to beat 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.
Described as the most isolated oceanic rock in the world, the uninhabited granite rock stands in the North Atlantic Ocean 230 miles (370 km) west of the Outer Hebrides.
Nick is using Inmarsat BGAN to transmit blogs, update his Facebook page, Skype and tweet about his experiences.
“Although I had appreciated that being able to speak to loved ones would be crucial out here, alone for 60 days, the ability to see them live face-to-face is priceless and has had a massive impact on my morale,” said Nick.
So far, the 39-year-old has picked up 2,092 followers on Twitter which he hopes will help increase awareness of the charity he’s raising money for – Help for Heroes.
Inmarsat has also supplied Nick with an IsatPhone 2 satellite phone which has an emergency assistance button.
He is using Inmarsat’s new BGAN HDR service, accessed through a small and lightweight Cobham SATCOM Explorer 710 terminal, to broadcast live to TV programmes.
In addition, he will use BGAN to send film footage made while on Rockall for a documentary about his record attempt, to be screened by US TV network NBC.
The chartered surveyor has received messages of support from well known adventurers including TV regulars Bear Grylls and Ben Fogle, and polar explorer Ben Saunders.
Nick said that he has made a few friends with the local wildlife, who are fond of messing over his pod.
As well as a variety of sea birds, Nick has so far been visited by a puffin, two lost racing pigeons and a minke whale which came within 100 feet (30 metres) of him .
Both of the pigeons have now gone but Nick thinks they may have landed on Rockall after becoming confused by its natural magnetic energy– something the rock is famed for and why ships avoid getting too close.