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Island Getaway: Scottish Adventurer To Live Alone On This Rock For 60 Days
May 11, 2013
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Rockall_Island.jpg

This is Rockall Island - a remote piece of rock in the Atlantic about 300km off Soya, Scotland. And soon, it's going to be the home of adventurer Nick Hancock.

Early next month, Hancock plans to head to Rockall Island and live alone there for two months - in part to raise money for a military charity 'Help for Heroes' but also to try to break a record.

The current record is held by Tom McClean, a veteran of the British Army's Parachute Regiment and Special Air Service, who managed to withstand 40 days there in 1985.

According to The Guardian, McClean's digs were decidedly rustic; he lived in "a hand-built plywood box" and slept atop water containers and food.

Hancock, a 38-year-old chartered surveyor, has fashioned his own survival pod - a bright yellow water tank (pictured below). It is 1.9 metres (six feet) long inside, 1.2 metres (four feet) wide and 76cm high - too low to stand up in. But it is waterproof and there are windows built into it.

Nick_Hancock.jpg
Photo: Via Tom Finnie at the Guardian

The pod, currently being tested with the help of a Scottish fire brigade, will be affixed to one of the few flat points on the island, Hall's Ledge (which could easily be called Hell's Ledge).

For power, Hancock has a wind turbine and solar panel and army food rations to eat, along with a satellite phone and a laptop loaded with e-books.

He tells The Guardian, "I think the worst times will be if I'm cooped up in the pod for several days by bad weather, and I get cabin fever."

The island is a chunk of extinct volcano, 20 metres (60 feet) high. Back in Victorian times, a visit there was described as the epitome of heroism that "reflected well on the bravery and moral character of the traveller."

These days, not so much - with the island once described as "white-capped by seabird droppings" and in a reference by Islands Magazine as a place "used for target practice by the Royal Air Force."

The British Coastguard has reassured Hancock that Rockall is within range of rescue helicopters, and has asked him to take a personal distress beacon and emergency flares, just in case.

But Hancock's no shrinking violet. He's pushed himself to the limit in in several ultra-marathons and climbed two of the world's seven tallest mountains.

He says "I sometimes find ordinary life a bit dull and I like to push myself. I like to find out where my limits are, both mentally and physically."

Rockall_Island_boat.jpg
Hancock's scouting visit to the piece of volcanic rock in the North Atlantic

Once he sets up shop on the island, Hancock plans to keep a blog, send out tweets, and email his wife Pam and friends in Scotland each day.

Via The Guardian

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