Rockall is a tiny islet rising out of the Atlantic Ocean swell 187 miles west of St Kilda. More people have swam the English Channel or conquered Everest than set foot on this distant rock.
Yorkshire adventurer Andy Strangeway is bidding to become only the fifth person to spend a night on Rockall. The most notorious of the current four overnighters is Tom McClean, who spent 40 days there in 1985 to assert the UK’s ownership of Rockall, which is also claimed by the Faroes Islands, Iceland and Ireland.
Strangeway’s quest has a royal motivation: he will replace a long-gone plaque that was laid on the rock on behalf of the Queen in 1955. He then hopes to spend a night on Rockall, becoming the first person to stay there without shelter.
The water around Rockall can be treacherous. It is a challenge for seafarers to get to St Kilda, 40 miles west of the Western Isles, let alone travel a further 187 miles west across an unpredictable ocean to a place described as the “most isolated small rock in the oceans of the world”.
Strangeway will need fortune and fortitude, but what a prize is in his grasp: to say he spent the night on Rockall.