York man achieves sea trip goal

York Press: Andy Strangeway Andy Strangeway

AN INTREPID island-hopper has made history after becoming the first person ever to spend a night on all 162 of the islands off the Scottish coast.

Andy Strangeway, of Full Sutton, near Pocklington, has braved severe weather conditions and treacherous seas during his four-year adventure.

The 42-year-old adventurer, who works as a decorator when he is not at sea, said landing on the final island of Soay had been the most difficult of them all.

He said: "There was an almost sheer cliff of 50ft to climb. I got up it okay, but coming down I got stuck about half-way and ended up falling 20ft.

"I must be made of strong stuff because I escaped pretty much unscathed, with just a few minor scrapes.

"It was a huge relief to finish and for the first 24 hours I was absolutely shattered."

Andy is now finishing a book about his adventures - which he said would be available next month.

He said: "I think it is the greatest adventure that this country has to offer - there is nothing more difficult and I don't think anybody else will achieve it in my lifetime.

"The enormity of what I've done is beginning to sink in."

Andy embarked on his voyage in September 2003 - inspired by the fact that it was a challenge nobody had attempted.

He said: "I love solitude, I love nature and I love the idea that it had never been done before.

"I wanted to become the first person ever to land on all of the 162 Scottish islands that were 40 hectares or more."

They included the remote island of Rona, where the nearest person was 40 miles away.

He accessed some of the islands by ferry and through one-off tourist visits, but to get to some of the more remote islands he was forced to charter a boat and jump off it while it slowly passed the island. To read more about Andy's adventures log on to www.island-man.co.uk.

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