Posted by: tim ellis | August 21, 2005

Mull Saturday 12 August 1995

This is my diary of the week I spent on a Whale watching tour on the Isle of Mull, in Scotland during 1995 .The company I travelled with have their own web pages, which will tell you more about the work they do, and how you can take part too, which can be found by following the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust Link

An eventful journey… The train to Glasgow is delayed at Wigan due to line blockage and/or locomotive failure. It is announced that we will be delayed by 10 – 15 minutes, then after that time it is announced that we will be leaving in 10 – 15 minutes… The train crawls through to Preston, then starts to pick up speed. At Oxenholme we are half an hour late, although we make most of this up by Glasgow, arriving only 8 minutes late.

At Queens Street station I overhear the two people next to me talking about the Oban train. There is a very indistinct announcement about this train, and on checking the departure board I discover it is 15 minutes late. I tell my neighbours. “Oh no” says the woman, “I hope we don’t miss the Ferry” – It turns out she is also going Whale watching, her name is Denise.

The train is eventually over 30 minutes late due to ‘awaiting extra carriages’. The queue of passengers stretches all around the concourse, but with a nifty bit of overtaking, and by making for the furthest door, I manage to get one of three or four unbooked seats. Denise had booked a seat, which turns out to be just behind me. Fortunately the ferry has been held as both the train and the bus are late, and we are able to board via an ’emergency’ gang plank (as the outer isles ferry is already in the main dock) and buy tickets on board. We are met at the other end by Laurie, Marÿka and a light shower. There are 7 of us to take back up in the Landrover, Jürgen & Sonja from Frankfurt, Karen, Lynn, Pat Denise and myself). The eighth member of the package (Brian) is in his own car, and beats us to Dervaig.

The Members of the Package

Everyone seems to get on very well together (despite the huge number of teachers! (half the package)), as we settle in, listen to Richard’s introductory talk, and take dinner with Julian and Jacqui, who is the ‘stand-in’ cook for the week.

The Lodge at Dervaig

Our home for the week



  1. A bit of a (Belated) update.
    The Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust (link above) has been “hived off” from Sea Life Surveys. HWDT continue to do research, and do use volunteers, but not as a “Whale watching holiday”. Sea Life Surveys operates as a “Whale watching company”, and continues to contribute to research on Minke Whales

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