Base Camp Manager Ian Blessley Describes the Rewarding Challenges of Constructing Camp Foyle


Communication problems make Ian’s job all the more difficult

Not Planks, you Plank!

The following morning we got on with the task of bringing down the big tree.  Whilst it is incredibly sad that the tree came down, the skill of the guides with the chain saw and in identifying the direction the tree would fall is remarkable.

That morning we had sent message to Martin to send ‘Ung and the required food stuffs, only for ‘Ung to arrive with planks of wood.  A delay with the text messages from our sat phones meant that Martin didn’t receive the message, and so we ended up with the one thing from the stores we didn’t need.

Food, Inglorious Food

At lunch Dale arrived with another 4 boats full of food, despite the request that nothing else be sent, as we had little room to store ½ of the noodle mountain we brought with us. Another delayed text, and a sharp reminder that sat phones are not mobile phones, and can’t be relied on as such. We resorted to sending paper messages with the boats. This was even slower than using the sat phones, but at least we knew they would get there.

On the other side of the coin the guides were happy as we had plenty of coffee and sugar.  By now we were going through about 1 ½ kg a day.  The end of the day saw the structure that would become the sleeping quarters being erected and the tree was being cut up into timber for use in construction of the other shelters to avoid the destruction of any more of the trees.