9th May - Nature's Island Paradise
Eperience the great wilderness of north-west Scotland as we visit the seabird colonies of Handa Island and the Shiant Isles, make a beach landing to observe red deer and go in search of seals on Skye.
Our thanks to John Noorani for many of the images used in this weeks blog.
9th May 2017.
Setting sail from Oban on a beautiful summers evening, we headed through the Sound of Mull towards our overnight anchorage off Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula.
10th May 2017.
This morning guests visited the Isle of Lunga by local boat for walks on the island and the opportunity to observe the local birdlife which included puffins, Shag, Guillemots and Razorbills.
In the afternoon guests were landed at Ulva ferry port on Mull where they had the opportunity to visit either the Eagle hide at West Ardhu, where White Tailed Eagles were spotted, or visit the Lip na Cloiche Gardens.
We anchored overnight in Loch na Keal off the Isle of Ulva.
11th May 2017.
After an early morning cruise north we made a beach landing at Kilmory Bay on the Isle of Rum where guests went in search of the resident red deer.
We spent the afternoon cruising the Sound of Sleat and Kyle Rhea, during which our guest speaker David Sexton gave the first of his talks in the Tiree Lounge.
Large numbers of Porpoises were seen as we sailed up the the Sound of Sleat and the Inverness Coastgaurd Helicopter circled the ship as we approached the Kylerhea Narrows. Sea Eagle Valiant was also spotted on his perch above the Kylerhea Narrows.
We anchored overnight off Gairloch.
12th May 2017.
Our morning visit was the sub-tropical garden at Inverewe where nesting herons could be observed and a sea eagle was spotted from the coach on the journey from the ship
After lunch on board we landed on Tanera Mor, largest of the Summer Isles where a cuckoo and meadow pipit were among the species sighted.
Our overnight berth was Lochinver.
13th May 2017.
This morning we made a beach landing on Handa Island where guests enjoyed walks and the opportunity for bird watching where species spotted included Arctic Skua, Guillemots, Fulmar, Puffin, Sylark, and Great Skua.
We spent the afternoon cruising the bird cliffs of Shiant Isles and The Minch on passage towards our overnight anchorage off Lochmaddy, North Uist, where a Minke Whale was sighted en route.
14th May 2017.
From Lochmaddy our visit this morning was the Balranald bird reserve where bird watchers were lucky enough to view Corncrakes and Lapwings.
During lunch we cruised to Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, where guests could either visit the castle or take a local boat to view the seal colony.
We anchored overnight in Ardmore Bay off the Isle of Mull.
15th May 2017.
Our final morning was spent cruising the Sound of Mull and Loch Linnhe on passage towards Ballachullish for an afternoon visit to Glencoe.
The Farewell Gala Dinner was held this evening.
16th May 2017.
Disembarkation took place after breakfast and we wish all our guests a safe onward journey.