Rockall Iota Expedition 2012

Posted on September 9, 2011 by


Rockall is the most isolated speck of rock surrounded by water on the surface of the Earth. A very small islet lying approximately 366 km (227 miles) west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, and 430km (267 miles) from the nearest point on the Irish mainland. The outcrop measures circa 25m (82ft) on its north-south axis and 22m (72ft) on its east-west axis; the summit is only 19.2m (63ft) ASL. It is situated on the Rockall Bank, an Atlantic ridge separated from the European continental shelf by the Rockall Trough. The occupiable area of Rockall, named in 1955 as Hall’s Ledge after the first recorded person to land there, is just 3.5 metres by 1.3 metres (11 foot by 4 foot), and 4 metres (13 foot) below the summit.

A team of four highly experienced IOTA (Islands On The Air) amateur radio activators are planning to operate from the extremely rare and dangerous Isle of Rockall. Accompanied by an experienced climber, they aim to land and stay on Rockall for 48 hours in late May 2012, in what will be considered one of the most ambitious island activations the ham radio world has ever seen.

The four radio operators George Moreno (EA2TA), Christian Cabre (EA3NT), Simon Gadaleta (IZ7ATN) and Col McGowan (MM0NDX) are all part of the larger and highly successful MS0INT IOTA adventure group , which has had previous transmitting success from St. Kilda, the Monach Islands and the Flannan Islands. Completing the team is Nick Hancock , a climber with considerable expedition experience in remote and inhospitable places, increasing the chances of activating the island.

Nick Hancock has future plans stay on Rockall for 60 days, setting new occupation records and raising money for charity. By joining and assisting the IOTA team to land and activate Rockall, this expedition is an ideal opportunity for Nick to “recce the rock” prior to his attempt at a long-haul stay. Find out more about each member by visiting the expedition website .

Locating a yacht, skipper and crew to take the team to Rockall was always going to be a difficult task. However, the team are delighted to announce that Killary Flyer, out of County Galway, Ireland will be their transport to and from the islet. This boat, a 50ft ex-Admiral’s Cup Racing yacht, and Rockall are no strangers having landed a small team in 2005.

With meteorological research and historical data, the IOTA team believe that the end of May / beginning June 2012 will be the ideal window to land on Rockall and put it on the air.

Each member will pay their own flights, additional travel costs, food, equipment and charter boat expenses. To help offset some of this expense, the team have already successfully sought donations from within the IOTA radio community, DX organisations and like-minded individual radio operators. Undertaking an expedition of this magnitude is not cheap. The team continue to seek kind sponsors and donors who realise the challenge ahead, and want to be part of this exciting project. To donate, you can use PayPal: rockall.eu189@gmail.com or visit our sponsors page .

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