Posted by: tim ellis | August 21, 2005

Mull Thursday 17th August, 1995

A Mink

As we are not going to Staffa until this afternoon, we spend the morning looking for Otters down by where the boat is moored. We don’t find an otter, but do see another member of the Mustilidae family which we are unable to identify at first, but we decide it is a mink when we are able to look it up back at the lodge (Jürgen says that Andrew Evans showed it to them on the Otter Walk yesterday, and it is a female).

After Lunch Jacqui and Katherine drive us down to Ulva Ferry for our trip to Staffa. The route is steep & windy, even by Mull standards, and the roadside is festooned with highland cattle. We see Shag and Seals on the way out to Staffa, but despite the sea being as calm as a millpond, and it being so clear you can see Jura behind the Ross of Mull, we don’t see any Cetaceans. Basking Seal!

We are all so busy looking over the port side of the boat we nearly miss Staffa looming up on the starboard!

Staffa

We are taken round to look at Fingal’s Cave while a blast of Mendelssohn is played to us, then landed to explore. It is an amazing place, much bigger than we expected.

Fingals Cave

It is liberally festooned with sheep and rabbit droppings, though we don’t see any sheep or rabbits. My theory that they are carried over by golden eagles who subsequently eat the evidence is not greeted with much enthusiasm, and eventually we do spot a loan sheep (someone has obviously been feeding it ex-lax!).

On Staffa

More by luck than judgement, by the time we go to look at Fingal’s cave, we are the only ones there, which is nice.

At Fingals Cave

Still no whales on the return trip, though we do see a shag doing a good impression of a harbour porpoise!

Staffa & Fingals Cave

Nikki and Shona pick us up, and the journey back is enriched by Rabbits, Red Deer and the Highland Cattle again!

Moo-ve over

We decide to go out as early as possible tomorrow to get as much of the good weather as possible, but first of all there are lots of cards to give out, to Jacqui, who finishes tonight, although we threaten not to let her go until we have tested the full time chef, and to Marÿka (probably the correct spelling?) who is 25 today. Jacqui has made her a cake in the shape of a Turtle, (which she was studying for the last two years), after which Brian, Jacqui, Karen, Maryka and Myself go up to the pub. No one else on the Package wants to come, and the students are not allowed – We promise Maryka we will tell Richard she was in her Caravan all night.

It is “Folk Night” in the pub “with Angus and Jimmy”, which is a bit confusing, as there are three of them! They play both Folk and C&W, but not very well, so we are much earlier back tonight, despite stopping to watch shooting stars on the way.

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