Несмотря на сложную погодную обстановку в районе места высадки, команда Бельгийских радиолюбителей находится на подходе к Isle of Rockall, EU189, возможно, самому сложному по доступности для полноценной активации Европейскому (Мировому???) острову. Активность предполагается 30 Апреля 2009 г. не более 24 часов (зависит от погоды) - позывной MM0RAI/P Оцените сложность предприятия на сайте экспедиции!
Good morning all...For those who haven't been monitoring the <rockall.be> website, the news a few moments ago is basically that the sea/wind conditions are such that the yacht captain has not allowed an attempt and the ship is now returning to Scotland. If you have been watching the <magicseaweed> weather site, you will know the swell and winds are very high and increasing by the hour...Indeed the swell will be 30-35 feet (10m) in the next 36 hours, with storm force 10 winds...not the WX for playing about in a zodiac/R.I.B.!...I suspect they will have an "interesting" trip back to the Hebrides... trying to keep ahead of the storm.
It must be very disappointing for all members of the team, after all the hard work that has gone into planning and training for this expedition, but I have said right from the beginning that April/May is NOT the time to be planning an expedition to Rockall. When I considered this one myself back in the early 70s, I remember reading that there were only perhaps 2 weeks a year when the waves were not crashing over the top. It's not just the height of the Atlantic swell...it's the combination of the swell AND the wind forcing the sea to creep right up vertical cliffs, as I have observed on expeditions to the Flannans and to StKilda. Rockall holds the world record for wave height... A former light-house keeper on the Flannans told me he had seen waves "climbing" 200 feet up the west-facing cliffs - this almost certainly accounts for the sudden (infamous) disappearance of the 3 light-house keepers in 1900 (rather than theories of abduction by extra-terrestrials!!).
Let us now see if that other adventurer Andy Strangeway, who claims the title of "Island Man" (having simply slept one night on a few GM islands), carries on with his plan to mount "several" Rockall expeditions in the coming months. One of my friends (not a ham) here in Kelso is scheduled to be on the first trip but tells me he has heard nothing for months...I believe "Island Man" was still looking for a boat...Having spent much time in a wide variety of boats in the course of activating over 200 GM islands, I do not think that a "yacht" - cum -zodiac are the ideal combination for an attempt on Rockall...a landing-craft wedged against the rock and favourable sea conditions would be my choice, though having experienced shorter trips in a landing- craft, I would not envy the occupants on a 200+ mile trip!!
If the IOTA committee is determined to keep Rockall on the list (and I still believe it is fool-hardy), the committee should then sponsor a helicopter-landing from a suitably equipped support ship...That is the decision we came to back in the late 60s/early 70s...
Anyway...I guess all the families of the Belgian "assault team" back home will be very much relieved to hear they are safely on their way home.
Best wishes from an otherwise "Bonnie Scotland" here this morning, and where I am pleased to be comfortable in my armchair! BTW, it would seem that propagation conditions would also have been against the operation...