Our biggest problem at the time was securing transportation to Rockall. We should have known that the power of Vulture Central would come up trumps, for within an hour of the story going up, we were rung by one Malcolm MacSween. Malcolm is MD of Enterprise Management Consultanting which recently opened The Linux Centre on the Western Isle of Lewis as part of a development initiative in that part of the UK. Incredibly, he knows not only the Reg's own John Lettice, but also a sailing man in Troon, south of Glasgow, who put us in touch with local RNLI member and skipper Bob Johnston. Within a week Bob had secured us the use of the Syros Gyda, a 40-ft ocean going yacht:
The two terrified-looking individuals on the right are none other than team members Kieren McCarthy, well known toReg
readers, and photographer Mark Alden. The photo was taken a few minutes after they found out we had a boat and really would have to go to Rockall after all. Says it all, really.
So, on 20 July our team of five plus two skippers will leave Troon bound directly for Rockall. After roughly three days we should arrive at the sacred rock and begin our assault. In this we will be greatly aided by Al baker of Greenpeace, who recently signed up for the adventure. Al is a Rockall veteran, having participated in Greenpeace's 1997 42-day occupation of the islet in protest against exploitation of North Atlantic oil reserves.
Our landing on Rockall will be benefiting Learning Difficulties Media, a new project by well-respected charity Mental Health Media. Learning Difficulties Media is "the latest initiative developed by Mental Heath Media. It will support and promote the voices and experiences of people with learning difficulties through a wide range of media including video, CD-ROM and websites.
"It will bring together people with learning difficulties and those with expertise in media and production to work on a range of innovative projects. This will include media skills training for people with learning difficulties, training for journalists and film makers, an annual media award and the production of video and new media resources."
Good stuff. There is, however, much still to be done. We continue our search for corporate support to offset the costs of our appeal. Naturally, we've got the best possible deal on practically everything, but there is an unavoidable cost associated with the boat. We've already attracted some kind sponsors, and we're sure that there are many firms out there who would like to add their name to list and bathe in glory alongside ace TV reporter Donal MacIntyre and the mighty Reg. And, if it's within reason - your corporate banner or t-shirt/hat on Rockall, we'll do it in return for your support. Contact us at email@example.com.
Alternatively, we are sure that someone among the friends of Vulture Central can help out with this: we need a laptop/satellite phone set-up for email/press/interview purposes, to compliment the digital camera set-up kindly donated by Fuji. If you think your kit can survive a trip to Rockall, here's your chance to find out. Naturally, we'd be delighted to return the favour with whatever form of publicity you think appropriate. Email us here if you can help in any way.
We also need some proper sailing waterproofs and boots. In the unlikely event that a manufacturer of such apparel is reading this and would like to see his or her clothing take on the North Atlantic for charity, let us know.
Finally, any individual wanting to donate straight to the appeal fund can do so via Pay Pal right here. Every penny of cash donated in this way goes straight to the charity. We're sure readers can spare a couple of quid or dollars:
Thanks to all those who have so far supported ourRockall Ho! charity appeal
, especially El Reg for its continuing help and encouragement.