Regular readers will know that we at El Reg are not afraid of a quick challenge in aid of charity. Indeed, I myself recently completed a short jaunt from Plymouth to Banjul in a twenty quid van - helping to raise loads of lovely cash for a variety of projects in Gambia.
Of course, we couldn't have done it without the magnificent support of Register readers, and so it is with great pleasure that I ask you to give it up for our very own Lester Haines and his Rockall Ho! 2005! charity appeal.
It's all pretty simple, really. UK web satire outfit The Rockall Times has stumped up the cash to hire a vessel to travel from Stromness in Orkney to Rockall - the world's remotest islet* - which lies some 230 nautical miles west of the Outer Hebrides.
On 11 June 2005, the team of eight plus two skippers will leave the shores of Blighty and make the three-day journey to Rockall. Once there, they will assault the granite island with inflatables and grappling irons.
All sounds pretty straightforward, except this is the second time the silly buggers have tried to get onto Rockall. Their 2003 adventure ended in frustration when inclement weather forced a hasty retreat. This pic from the 2003 gallery will give some idea of what they're up against:
Blimey. Of course, the team members are not going to subject themselves to more of this madness for the good of their health. Nope, they're raising money for the MEdia initiative of Mental Health Media. Here's what it's all about:
All too often people with experience of mental distress are misunderstood, labelled and denied the opportunities that others take for granted. At Mental Health Media, we help those with first-hand experience to get across the real story about mental health and to lead the fight against discrimination.
And this is where you come in. You can support Rockall Ho! 2005 in one of three ways: making a donation through Justgiving.com (Justgiving claims an extra 28 per cent for UK donors from the Inland Revenue - hurrah!); joining the Register on the illustrious list of corporate sponsors; or buying one of the delicious limited edition t-shirts:
What does it mean? Ah, that would be telling. The shirt goes out at an affordable £12.76 (£14.99 inc VAT) and is available in the usual range of sizes from medium to XXL. There's more on all three support options and how you can get involved here.
And that's about it except to say I think I would rather drive a £20 Citroen across Africa than face the might of the North Atlantic. I hope you'll join with me in wishing our merry band of nautical adventurers the very best of British luck. ®
*No emails, please. Rockall really is the world's remotest island, lying the furthest distance from any other outcrop or land of any description. 'Tis true.