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Monday, 3 March 2014

The 2014 Challenge: feeling like a Vulture

It is always slightly uncomfortable, being on the Standby list. You are hoping for a place to become available ... but know that for a place to become available, somebody else must suffer the disappointment of having to withdraw from the event. It is reported that the Scilly islanders never prayed for ships to be wrecked, but that they did pray that if there were to be wrecks, that they should be on their own shores rather than somebody else's. Well, that's a bit how it feels. You do not wish withdrawal of the event on anyone ... but you do wish that if there are going to be withdrawals, they take place before the Standby List closes at midnight on 15 March.

Of course, I've seen the other side of the coin as well. In 2008 I had a place and thought I would be fit to walk, but after suffering a relapse of Chronic Fatigue I realised that I could not be confident of my ability to walk in May. So I withdrew from the event, and somebody else gained my place. I hope they were able to make good use of it.

Eventually I could stand it no more, and towards the end of February I sent John an e-mail enquiring how the Standby list stood. He replied that I was number 4 ... and then three hours later, he sent a further e-mail saying that I was now number 1. With just under 3 weeks to go until the Standby List closed. I thought it was time to start putting my route onto a route card.

And then yesterday, Sunday 2 March 2014, came the e-mail I had been hoping for. A place had become available ... did I still want it?

Well, of course I did! So I e-mailed John right away, and then I set about sorting out my accommodation. As of today, I can say that I have my travel to Fort William booked (but not my travel back from Montrose, as the Advance tickets for that journey have not been released yet) and all of my hard accommodation is booked as well. So ... Kilchoan to Tangleha' in 2014 it is! And, provided I complete ... I shall have a guaranteed place in 2015, to attempt my 10th crossing. I'm beginning to make plans for that already!!

4 comments:

  1. That's excellent news, Sir!
    What number were you on the Standby List when it was first issued?
    Tangleha's a great finish, but you'll need to go to St Cyrus for the tea shop or a pub. The pub shown on the map closed years & years ago.

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  2. If you read the immediately preceding post, Mr S, called The 2014 Challenge: the Draw for Places, you will see where I started on the Standby List.

    Apparently now that I have my place, there are just 14 people remaining on the list ...

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    Replies
    1. Ah - I wasn't expecting there to be nine posts in one day (!!!)
      May I ask - why do you split each day up into a sequence of posts? Is it because you can only post one picture per post?

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  3. It is indeed!

    I've tried to fathom out how to post multiple pics per day, but being a bear of very little brain ... I cannot.

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