Posted by: tim ellis | August 21, 2005

Mull Monday 14th August 1995

Shona

An earlier start today (8:00 rather than 10:30). Jürgen & Sonja are doing the Andrew Evans’ trip today, and we are joined by 6 day trippers (one of whom, Roberta, is an Italian to keep up our quota of Europeans). Crew are Laurie and Shona.

The harbour

We start wildlife spotting early today, with three red deer on the way down to the boat.

There is a 3 metre swell, which is quite unseasonable, so Richard heads for “the only bit of calm water” up between Eigg and Muck. On the way we spot the first Puffin of the week. Other birds we see today include Kittiwakes, Tern, Oyster Catchers and Raven (over Muck). We also spot our first Whale (Bill, one of the day-trippers, just beats me to the Mars bar for the first spotting of the day), but then we loose it again.

The Skipper

Richard berates us, then we change watch and promptly find it again from the main deck for a reasonable length of time as it swims around the boat before heading off. It is given sighting number 2637. While we are watching this we are surrounded by Harbour Porpoise, There are at least five of them, possibly more. They swim all around the boat for some time, Then as we head into Muck for Dinner (and their famous Cream teas!) we see the whale and porpoise again!

Cream Tea on Muck

Although Richard manages to land us on Muck, the tide is going out, so we have to re-embark by rowing boat. One more sighting of the Whale as we head for a roller coaster of a ride back through the swell.

Re-embarking by Boat
Jürgen and Sonja arrive back just after us, having had a successful trip, sighting Golden Eagle, amongst others. Marÿka gives us a tour of the research room before dinner. It is very interesting to see the ongoing work and the output from “Logger”. We also hear the first UK recording of Minke Whales.
We are joined for dinner by Colin and Anne, 2 Journalists from The Grauniad who will be going out on the boat tomorrow (our Wildlife Safari day).

After Dinner we go down to Calgary bay with Jacqui to look for Otters. Denise thinks she sees one, but otherwise we have no luck, although we do see Hedgehogs and Rabbits on the way back. After much searching back at the Lodge we finally manage to find the Video of the Sperm Whale Stranding, craftily labelled “SPERM WHALE STRANDING, ARDNAMUCHIN” so as to confuse us, so we watch that before turning in for the luxury of a 9:00 am Breakfast (three hours after the “boat” Breakfast).

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