[NEWS UPDATE @ 1330z] – Further to the news update below, it appears the team did reach Rockall, but are now turning back. At this moment, without proper confirmation, it looks like MM0UKI part 2 will not be happening. 

Click for tracker

[JULY 19 @ 0900Z] – Having departed Oban on Sunday 16th, then overnight on Isle of Mull (EU-008), the team departed there on Monday (July 17) morning arriving within the vicinity of Rockall early morning today (July 19). At the moment, according to wind forecast maps, it seems the team are waiting for the swell to subside before making any landing attempt. A reminder that if they succesfully land Rockall, radio operations will last for approx 3 hours only. 

Click for tracker

[JULY 14] – Nobby, G0VJG confirms that the team will set sail from Oban, western Scotland on Monday morning (July 17th). Weather and seas permitting they hope to arrive Rockall by possibly Wednesday (July 19th) at the earliest, but subject to change. Should the weather and swell conditions around the islet be favourable, both Nobby and Emil will operate for 90 minutes each – total of 3 hours operating time – on CW and SSB only. Note: They are looking for unique calls only. If you already worked Rockall recently (or previously), give others a chance who might yet still need this remote island.

[JULY 8] – Within the next 7-10 days, Emil DL8JJ, Nobby G0VJG and Cam Cameron will be returning to Rockall to collect all equipment that was left behind during the team leaders’ evacuation from the rock at the end of June. Ham radio activity is not the primary focus of this return trip, but if time and weather/seas permit a QRV might be possible for a few hours. Meanwhile, video teaser of their expedition is now available. Click on picture to view the trailer.

[JUNE 28] – Team leader has been rescued and is safe & well according to the Expedition’s social media pages. At 1800z, we can see two rescue aircraft arriving Western Isles of Scotland with Cam on one of them. At 1900z,  a Press Release was issued:

Christopher ‘Cam’ Cameron landed on Rockall, a small islet in the North Atlantic over 200 miles off the West Coast of Scotland, on 30th May 2023. His aim was to stay on Rockall for 60 days to raise £50,000 for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Overnight on 27th/28th June, the weather around Rockall significantly worsened to the point of being dangerous. A lot of Cam’s equipment was destroyed by the wind and waves, and on several occasions overnight, he was almost swept away.

Harry Brayford, expedition communications and shoreside manager said “I spoke to Cam at 08:30 BST on Wednesday, and we discussed the forecast for the coming days. It was apparent Cam had suffered a really rough night, and we needed to make a quick decision on whether to abort the expedition or push on. We looked at a number of options to safely extract Cam if required, but it quickly became apparent the most appropriate option was for him to issue a ‘Mayday’ call, which was picked up by HM Coastguard at Stornoway. They have coordinated the rescue mission, and as well as deploying vessels in the immediate vicinity, they deployed both rotary and fixed wing coastguard aircraft to assist him. He was winched onto the coastguard helicopter just before 6pm BST, and then flown back to dry land.

Our heartfelt thanks go to the crews of the HM Coastguard aircraft and all the vessels in the area that assisted. It’s disappointing to have to abort such an immense expedition, and whilst it was not an easy decision to make, it was the right one without question. I’ve spoken to Cam this evening and he’s in remarkably good spirits considering. He’s very much looking forward to a beer and a proper bed to sleep in.

[JUNE 28  @ 1545z] – Following important info recently released today by the official media outlet of the Rockall 2023 Expedition:

Due to declining weather conditions and sea state at Rockall over the last 24 hours, Cam has, this afternoon declared a Mayday. An operation to evacuate him from Rockall is currently being coordinated by HM Coastguard. As this is an on-going operation, we would ask that you do not speculate. Please standby for further updates as soon as we have them.

Rockall EU-189 (credit G0VJG)

[JUNE 17] – Mark the date in your diary! MM0UKI is going to be QRV again from Rockall, EU-189 on Thursday, July 20th.

Nobby, G0VJG and the SV Taeping team will be returning to the island to collect (by then) world record occupation holder Cam Cameron after his 60 days fundraising expedition comes to an end. Mainly the return visit is to get Cam off the islet safely along with all the equipment, however Nobby plans approx 4-6 hours activity on 40 & 20m SSB only. Please note: only unique calls / QSOs this time – there’s still very many radio ops worldwide who seek to make contact with Rockall so emphasis is definitely on uniques for this new short activity. 

As Cam continues his quest to break the world record, please consider a donation to the charities he is helping to support. 

Credit: Cam Cameron

[JUNE 14] – The MM0UKI Rockall radio expedition may be over, but let’s not forget Cam Cameron is still on the islet aiming to break a world record and raise funds for charity. He says it’s been foggy for 3 days solid and he has seen nothing of note. Love the shirt, Cam !

Meanwhile, team member Emil DL8JJ recently reported the QSL cards are now printed and will soon be sent out. Preview courtesy Emil.

[JUNE 4] – And here’s more pictures provided by Emil DL8JJ. Certainly an adventure!

[JUNE 4] – Exclusive pictures from Nobby, G0VJG when MM0UKI (Rockall). They made approx 7200 QSOs and should be on dry land this evening ready to offload all equipment. 

[JUNE 3] – As Emil and Nobby soon return to civilization here’s a picture of Rockall and Cam Cameron taken by Peter Fenwick today aboard the UK Marine Protection Vessel, Hirta. What a picture of the rock! Look forward to seeing the MM0UKI operating pictures soon too!

PS: Confirmation from Nobby that they made approx 7K QSOs whilst on the rock. 

Image credit: Peter Fenwick, UK Marine Protection.

[JUNE 2 @ 1445z] – As can be seen viewing the yacht tracker, Emil and Nobby are now well on the way back to the Scottish mainland. Team leader Cam will now remain on the islet for approx 55 more days for charity

[JUNE 2 @ 0630z] – MM0UKI went QRT in the early hours. Fingers crossed for a safe descent and calm sailing back to the mainland. Just before they stopped transmissions, we received this message and photo from Bill, W2CQ via Jack, W4KSB and display in full below becasue it’s quite a fitting tribute to the 2 ops:

David VK3RU, a friend in Australia, saw the DX-World post about Rockall being on the air. He told me his father took a picture out of the back of his Mosquito aircraft in 1942 and he offered to send it. So, here it is from his father’s album. The picture taken from the back of his aircraft!

It’s safe to assume had the seas been like this, as they very are often are around Rockall, MM0UKI would not have happened! It’s also believed this particular photo has never been made public before until now. 

Rockall in 1942

[JUNE 1 @ 2050z] – Confirmation from Nobby on 40m @ 2040z today that they are going to QRT early tomorrow (local) morning – “coming home early tomorrow” – his exact words. Team leader Cam says they will be on the radio all night long until QRT. Couple of pictures courtesy of Cam. 

Part of the sleeping pod on Rockall with little VHF beam antenna.

Team leader Cam Cameron on Rockall

[MAY 31 @ 2020z] – Nobby confirms that just over 3000 QSOs have been made so far. Furthermore, we got word that Emil will try 2m on June 1st at 0400 utc. Suggested frequencies are: 144.352 MHz (MSK144) and 144.174 (FT8).

[MAY 31 @ 1715z] – Following a satellite phone call with the Guardian newspaper, here’s a little updated snippet from the link below:

Their ascent up the sheer-sided granite rock was much more hazardous than expected because the waves were far bigger than anticipated, Cameron, 53, told the Guardian. An expert mountaineer from Bulgaria, Bergmann (DL8JJ) was the first to land on the rock to fix the lines needed for Cameron (team leader) and Styles (G0VJG) to follow. But the swell was so great that he was twice washed into the sea before he was able to clamber on at the third attempt. Cameron said their yacht, the Taeping, had made three passes of the 17-metre high rock before they attempted a landing in rigid inflatable boats carried by their vessel. All three men have had training in cold-water survival and rock climbing. “God it was difficult getting on because of the surf. The weather conditions were just about favourable but [it was] just the surf around the base of the rock,” he said. “We had three attempts and got on on the fourth. It was extremely difficult.” Once they approached and Bergmann tried to clamber on, “the swell was literally brushing him straight off the rock and he was gone. But he made it third time around.

[MAY 31 @ 1030z] – Both operators were active through the night on CW (20m) and SSB (40m) until approx 0900z this morning. Currently, FT8 is being used on both bands. Operations on morse and voice likely to resume later. UK newspaper – The Guardian – is also covering the story and has credited DX-World with recent info and audio recording. 

*If you hear any new or relavant info being passed on air by the radio operators, please let us know. Contact DXER59@GMAIL.COM – thanks. 

[MAY 31 @ 0030Z] – I have just worked Nobby, G0VJG on 40SSB @ 0018z local and post the folllowing info for family & friends:

The guys started not long ago. Emil on 20CW, Nobby on 40SSB. I spoke to Nobby and he said everyone is fine, all are safe and to pass that info on to family members 😉

Apparently the landing was very tough and a swell is still kicking about the island, but they did it ! Nobby told me that Emil was “lost” to the sea twice due to the swell, but obviously is ok as he’s QRV on CW as I type this. They are there until Friday. So to repeat: All are good, safe and well. 73 Col MM0NDX.

[MAY 31 @ 0900z] – Getting closer and closer to the island, at 0800z today the yacht appeared to be just 2NM south of Rockall, sailing at ~0.1kts, suggesting final preparations for landing were being made. Winds appear calm at 4kts with a high pressure system dominating the area. Having seen first hand, there is a lot of equipment and kit to be hauled up the rockface so first signals hopefully later today once everyone has landed and is safe.

[MAY 29 @ 0815z] – Team leader Cam Cameron reports the yacht is now halfway to Rockall. Seas and weather appear good.

Halfway mark reached

Team leader Cam Cameron

Skipper and cameraman

[MAY 27 @ 1400z] – There’s been a weather front in the vicinity of Rockall recently which has kicked up a swell. Having left port yesterday afternoon (local time), the team delayed their voyage a bit so the seas calm down, and now hope to arrive early Tuesday morning. They are currently sheltering at Campbeltown. Emil, DL8JJ says there is much work to be done but conditions at the island should be very good on arrival. He goes on to say it will take much effort and time to get on the air so please be patient, and as soon as it’s safe to do so they will QRV. Note: they will now only be on Rockall until late Friday (GMT). 

[MAY 26 @ 1100z] – Now at the marina, Nobby and Emil are ready. Boat will be loaded soon. Departure later today. Weather is mainly good. Follow their progress here

[MAY 26 @ 0530z] – Emil DL8JJ spent his first night onboard the SV Taeping with Team Leader Cam Cameron, while Nobby G0VJG is soon on his way to Glasgow airport. A quick look at the weather charts / forecasts suggest the team really has struck gold with a high pressure basically lodged over Rockall for the coming week. Pictures below credit Emil:

[MAY 16] –  Rockall Island DXpedition final update from Emil DL8JJ before the team meet in Glasgow, Scotland to sail to the island hoping to land at the end of May.  Emil gives his presentation on May 16th at 7.30pm BST (1830utc) – watch it here or click the picture. 

PS: Keep an eye on the boat tracker once the SV Taeping leaves port on May 26th. Alternative tracker here

[APRIL 19] – The MM0UKI DXpedition to the Isle of Rockall is soon approaching. In just 1 month from now, several intrepid souls, including radio hams Nobby G0VJG and Emil DL8JJ, will attempt to land and stay on the islet. While the main intention is to break the current world record for time spent on Rockall, and to raise as much as possible for military / navy charities, the focus of this post is more to do with the radio side of the expedition:

Nobby will be the SSB & FT8 op while Emil will run CW & FT8. Bands to be used: 40-10m (2m possibly). Radios: 2 x FT-857D (100w), back-up KX2 (10w), 2 x Spiderbeam poles (10m), generator / solar panels, MFJ-902 tuner + logging software (N1MM+ / WinTest).

Emil DL8JJ (at OJ0Y)

Emil DL8JJ (at OJ0Y)

Nobby at DX Feile 2022

Nobby at DX Feile 2021

This will be only the third activation of Rockall – MS0IRC/P (2005), MM0RAI/P (2011) previously. Still under 11% of all IOTA chasers have Rockall confirmed, so demand will again be huge. 

As the DXpedition gets underway, DX-World will update often on team progress, including pictures and video footage.  On May 26th, Col MM0NDX (of DX-World) and Jonathan MM0OKG will pick up both radio ops from Glasgow International airport where they will then drive to the departure point later that day.

The yacht the team will sail in is called “Taeping” – find out more about her on this page.

VISIT THE 2023 ROCKALL EXPEDITION WEBSITE

 

Isle of Rockall, EU-189