Tim skippered a his last cruise of the season for us last week, and it was a great week for sunshine and sea eagles! His account of the cruise is below, accompanied by some lovely photos by guest Irene
Saturday and the weather chart doesn’t look good for the next three days but at least it’s calm and not raining as the guests arrive. Half of them have been before and that’s always a nice way to start, old friends with adventures shared.
Up to Tobermory and with a phone call to Barbara at the pontoons she kindly moves folk around so we get a berth. It’s going to be a bit of a blow and being able to get on and off the boat whenever you like is a bonus when the weather is inclement.
The morning is dry so all guests ashore for walks and an explore. Back on board for lunch after which the boat is moved to the mooring in an increasing wind as the fenders start to look as though they may pop. More sojourns ashore after lunch for some and then it’s dinner on board.
Monday and it’s still blowing but now the rest of the week looks good and the wind drops after lunch. Scenic trip up Loch Sunart to Salen where we tie up to the pontoon and everybody gets ashore for a couple of hours. Told by the Woman running the pontoons that a couple of hours earlier the waves were breaking over them and she kindly lets us stay for free. Then its down to Loch Drumbuidhe for the night.
The early riser catches the Otter but there is no sign of the White tailed Sea Eagles either here or in Bloody Bay as we steam down the west side of Mull but a Golden Eagle is spotted just north of Gometra. Into Gometra harbour for lunch and the afternoon is spent on Gometra with a spot of sunbathing on the boat.
Wednesday morning and it’s calm and sunny again. On leaving we had a great view of 2 Sea Eagles on the shore and a sighting of a Minke whale for the lucky ones. Anchor down off Staffa before ten and everybody ashore for a couple of hours to explore the impressive Fingal’s Cave and rock formations before the day boats arrive. When they do it’s impressive watching their manouvering on the pier after which it’s down to Fionnphort for lunch.
Thursday and it’s past the Torran rocks and in along close to the shore of Mull. A pod of Bottlenose dolphins join us briefly along with a baby. Then it’s time for the Eagles and during the rest of the day we see six, three in one go at close quarters! Lunch in Loch Buie where some guests vote to walk to Loch Spelvie whilst we steam the boat round to meet them. A problem with the windlass as we are raising the anchor leads to the decision to go to the mooring in Oban for the last night rather than risk it not coming up in the morning if we anchor again so it’s dinner in the rotating HBJ restaurant under McCaigs folly.
Two guests depart at 7am for a long trek back to Devon and the rest have a leisurely civilised breakfast on board before fond farewells with two already booked for a St Kilda cruise with us next year.
DID YOU KNOW?
Atlantic puffins have penguin-like colouring but they sport a colourful beak that has led some to dub them the "sea parrot". The beak fades to a drab grey during the winter and blooms with colour again in the spring.