Mull, Raptors and Otters – 6 night cruise
|Availability||Sat 13th to Fri 19th April||
(1 double cabin, 3 twin cabins, 1 single cabin*)
*Double or Twin cabin £1320 per person, single cabin £1650
Focusing on the fantastic island of Mull and surrounds, we aim to circumnavigate the whole island, with guided walks ashore planned daily. We’re delighted to once more welcome aboard our old friend Chris Gomersall as expedition leader. Chris is one the UK’s best known wildlife photographers, he worked for 14 years as the in-house photographer at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Chris first guided aboard with us in 2002, he has wealth of Hebridean experience and knowledge. Chris as well as offering his guiding skills will also provide mentoring for aspiring and experienced photographers.
Read more about Chris at; http://www.chrisgomersall.co.uk
Destination: Guests join motor vessel Hjalmar Bjorge around 1600 on Saturday 13 April in Oban. Our departure shortly thereafter will see us on anchor for our first evening meal aboard.
After boarding, we’ll depart Oban and cruise north through the Sound of Mull for our first anchorage in the wonderful Loch Droma Buide. The next day we’ll cruise across the north of the island looking out for whales and dolphins particularly off Caliach Point. We’ll anchor off Lunga and land guests to explore the seabird & Puffin colonies and walk to Harp Rock. Our overnight anchorage will be at Gometra Harbour, here, we’ll land guests for further walks on either Gometra or Ulva.
We’ll explore the deep indent into Mull that is Loch na Keal and land for a short walks on the islands of Eorsa and Inch Kenneth (previously home to the notorious Mitford family). We’ll also aim to cruise to Staffa and view Fingals Cave before landing on Iona and exploring this enchanted isle, where we may also be lucky with seeing (or at least hearing!) an early Corncrake. If conditions allow we’ll anchor overnight in the Sound of Iona or off Erraid with another possible landing on this oft neglected tidal island, once home to Robert Louis Stevenson whilst engineering the nearby lighthouse at Skerryvore. It also proved inspirational for one of the settings in his novel ‘Kidnapped’.
We’ll cruise along the Ross and south coast of Mull, enjoying perhaps the most dramatic coastal scenery of the island, Ardanalish Bay, the cliffs from Malcolm’s Point to Carsaig Arches and finally into Lochbuie. Here we’ll anchor to land guests to explore and perhaps visit the stone circle, castle Moy or the beach at Laggan. Having lived there for a number of years, Mark is intimately familiar with this particular area of Mull and knows numerous special walks and birding sites of interest.
Mull is home to a healthy population of strikingly plumaged Black Guillemots, locally known as Tysties, and the island is also a stronghold for Dippers and Grey Wagtail. April is also a superb time to see Red and Black-throated Divers as they return to their breeding grounds, and seeing Great Northern Divers on passage – all in their summer finery.
Our last evening will be spent in Loch Spelve, home to a number of pairs of Golden and White Tailed Eagles. As well as raptors you’ll enjoy spotting otters and seals from the comfort of the vessel.
On the final day we head back into Oban for your departure after brunch on Friday 19 April.
DID YOU KNOW?
Monachs. The main islands of Ceann Ear, Ceann Iar and Shivenish are all linked at low tide. At one time it was possible to walk all the way to Baleshare, and on to North Uist, five miles away at low tide.