Spring Wildlife & Adventures - Snorkel, Kayak & SUP Tours
The extended cold spell meant it's been a slow start to our tour season with easter being early. The weather on the west coast has actually been relatively mild and with little of the harsh effects seen across the rest of the UK. Unfortunately despite the good conditions locally, it might be a little off-putting to consider donning a wetsuit when it's snowing beside you! However the thing to remember is that our weather is very different to other places. The same rules apply that just because it's sunny or snowing where you are, means nothing compared to our coastline!!
The first of our Seal & Lagoon tours went well with some lovely sunny weather and great visibility. The kelp forest has been regenerating and although a little quiet at the seal colony we still managed some encounters with both common and grey seals via snorkelling and kayak.
We're looking forward to spending more time out there really soon as we get busier through spring. There has been sightings of minke whales already in the area which is really exciting! We had some great kayaking around the isles and our snorkelers in 8mm suits were very surprised that they were toasty warm! It just shows how good modern wetsuit technology is!
Another day and another adventure to the south coast of Mull with a group of keen adventurers! We had some nice seal snorkelling, along with watching white-tailed sea eagles before visiting one of our favourite bays and going ashore to experience this amazing waterfall. A great place for an alfresco shower! With cliffs over 200m high and stunning rock formations this is a spectacular location. We do offer this as day tour or part of a private trip for groups - see here if interested.
However whilst exploring we found the adjacent beach covered in plastic. Through our blog and organisation, less than two weeks later we organised boats, dingys, volunteers and funds to go back and organise an expedition clean up! We don't hang about and are people to get things done! It was such a great effort by everyone involved and brilliant to make such a difference at such a beautiful place! See here for the results.
It's been great to be exploring the coastline on our SUP tours too. We had a great sunset SUP tour for a family group, some based SUP exploring south of Oban and we also made a longer trip for some surfing down the coast to Machrihanish too. These boards are great for coastal exploring and smaller clean waves but the boys also returned on their own with much bigger swells for a surf and surf-ski session. See some of the pictures below! It was great to have some decent swell and really push ourselves again!
Then as our tour and watersports season begins, the end of our scuba diving trips mainly comes to an end. Although we'll squeeze a few dive trips in here and there, it'll generally be Sept/Oct before we're converting the boat back for dive trips. We've been concentrating exploring the falls of lora, the tidal narrows to the east of Oban at Connel. Along with our local wreck of the Breda, other walls, reefs and interesting places. Despite the cooler water temps, we've had fantastic visibility and some very happy divers which has been great. For UK divers interested in our diving trips then please see this link.
Over the last few months we've been running our exciting night diving whilst we still had reasonable darkness. Using the calm weather we attach the boat to a local wreck and hang our surface based floodlights over the wreck like streetlights for the divers to enjoy an atmospheric dive with ethereal light illuminating parts of the wreck. There are a lot of applications for this and we will be trialling things over the summer out in the islands along with more floodlight diving when the nights start getting longer in autumn. You may not know but we get very long summer nights and and for a period there is no night, only twilight!
Along with our night diving, there has also been some nice Aurora / northern light shows here in Oban. With our dark skies and areas of little light pollution it makes a great areas for viewing when we a reasonably strong aurora. We can see them dancing in the sky, however it's more common to see the display on the camera. Here's one of Shane's pictures from a few weeks ago.