We were delighted that the cruise made it to St Kilda with lots of warm sunny weather, which just goes to show it can happen, even in a summer when the UK weather has not been the best. This was also the first cruise of the season for our Chef, Martin, with some great comments on his menus.
Saturday: Departing Oban, we cruised the Sound of Mull for our first nights anchorage at Tobermory. We had a lovely first meal with guests and crew all getting to know one another. The food highlight was Martin’s sea bass & shrimp risotto. Wildlife seen included colonies of common & Artic terns off Craignure on Mull with gannets & guillemots around in good numbers.
Sunday: The day started well with a sighting of bottlenose dolphins in the Sound of Mull. With a good forecast the boat made for Eriskay, located between South Uist and Barra in the Outer Hebrides which would be an ideal launching off point for St Kilda. On the way common dolphins were seen west of the Isle of Coll with great flocks of Manx shearwaters skimming the waves. Anchoring in sheltered Eriskay Harbour, guests went ashore for a walk on the stunning shell-sand beach nearby and a dram in the Am Politician pub of “Whisky Galore” Fame. The food highlight for the day (especially for the Skipper) was Martin’s home made sticky toffee pudding
Monday: Guests has their first sighting of harbour porpoise en route to St Kilda. There was great excitement amongst the guests as the stacs of the St Kilda archipelago came into view with rafts of puffin on the sea and a sighting of a Minke whale. Anchoring in Village Bay, guests went ashore on Hirta and walked up Conachair, the highest point on the archipelago, in excellent weather. The cliffs below Conacher are a sheer drop of 1400 feet, the highest in Britain. The St Kilda Wren was easily spotted as were the Soay sheep. The food highlight of the day was Martin’s Salami Salad with Inverlussa Mussels, from Loch Spelve on the Isle of Mull.
Tuesday: After another nights anchorage in Village Bay we awoke to a day of glorious weather. Guests walked up Ruival in short sleeves where from the viewpont they could clearly see a Minke whale and a basking shark.
Back on board for a delicious dinner of beef and local ale stew with dumpling mash, guests could still see the Minke whale and basking shark from the vessel.
Wednesday: It was time to leave St Kilda but before departing, guests enjoyed cruising close to the stacs and spotting a basking shark. While heading for North Uist we encountered a pod of rare white-beaked dolphins; wildlife guide Vivi was delighted! More Minke whales were spotted as well as little terns and Arctic skua. Anchoring in sheltered Lochmaddy on North Uist for the night, Martins fish pie at dinner got rave reviews from the guests.
Thursday was a lovely sunny day with great visibility. While cruising through the “Small Isles” a big pod of common dolphins were easily spotted off Canna. The evening’s anchorage was the idyllic Loch Na Drumbuie off Loch Sunart where one of the guests went for a swim and another a brief “dunk” in the loch! The Skipper dived for scallops in the loch for dinner which were served as a starter with Martin’s Cullen Skink – the perfect end to a perfect day.
Friday: Guests enjoyed brunch and a leisurely cruise down the Sound of Mull. We stopped over to view the nest of a white-tailed eagle and were a bit concerned to see the newly fledged chick sitting alone out of the nest on a branch. After waiting some time, all aboard were relieved to see the parents return and we happily continued to Oban for departure at midday.
Guests John & Angela Allan said ” We had a brilliant time and hope to be back for another of your trips, maybe in 2017″