Cruise Reports 2013
Skippers Log for Around Mull: Inlets and Islands 6-night cruise June 1st
Skipper: Martin McWhirr
We had brilliant weather and an excellent group of guests, making for a great week all round. We departed from Oban and made for Loch Spelve on the Island of Mull, cutting over to Loch Don so we could get the benefit of the abundant wildlife down the east coast of Mull. We were rewarded with seals, porpoises, wild goats, red deer, buzzards and a pair of hen harriers.
On Sunday morning we headed south about Mull in some fairly boisterous conditions, our only rough weather of the week. Despite the southerly breeze, we squeezed ourselves into David Balfour's Bay for lunch and then passed through the Sound of Iona to put all the guests ashore to visit Iona Abbey. Our Engineer Alistair spotted a Corncrake ashore, and we had a first Majestic Line sighting of a Pomarine Skua from the boat. We also saw a Great Skua and a Great Northen Diver in the Sound of Mull. We cruised to Bunessan for the night, with four guests going ashore for a stroll.
On Monday we cruised around the Ardmeanach Peninsula then headed out to the Isle of Staffa where all the guests got into the cave in the tender, then went ashore for an hour on Staffa. After lunch, we went for a cruise round Loch na Keal then into Gometra Harbour for the night, where everyone went for a walk on both Gometra and Ulva. Sightings included both Golden and Sea Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Ravens, Dolphins, an Otter and a pair of Red Breasted Merganzers.
On Tuesday morning, we headed for the Isle of Lunga where we had the usual feast of Puffins and other nesting seabirds, but also saw a Wheatear, a Spotted Flycatcher and were treated to two Great Skuas having a dogfight with a Great Black Backed Gull over a fish which the Skuas eventually won. As we had three Canadians from Calgary, Alberta on board, we paid a visit to Calgary Bay, Mull for their benefit and everyone went ashore for a walk. We then went round to Tobermory for the night and four guests went out with Alistair to lay all our creels.
In the morning after breakfast, eights guests opted to walk to Tobermory from Aros Park, one went straight to the Distillery and two to the shops. They all had a leisurely morning and returned for lunch, after which we lifted our creels and examined the catch to much hilarity. We then cruised Loch Sunart and returned to Loch Drumbuie for the night, to enjoy the usual spectacular sunset.
On Thursday we cruised slowly south down the Sound of Mull and had lunch in the shadow of Duart Castle. In the afternoon, the guests went ashore to visit the Castle, then we went to Loch a Choire for the night, where a Goosander was spotted.
The following morning we headed back to Oban where all guests departed assuring us of their imminent return.