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September, 2021 Archive

Wildlife Boat Trips from the Isle of Mull

It’s been an amazing summer for wildlife boat trips from the Isle of Mull, with regular appearances of dolphins in their droves, sightings of minke whales and harbour porpoise, and even in the last few weeks views of John Coe and Aquarius, members of the west coast population of killer whales!

Here, we catch up with Colin from Turus Mara to get the inside scoop:

Dolphin leaping off the Isle of Mull

Dolphins

It has been a really great summer for wildlife out on Staffa and the Treshnish Isles and surrounds, particularly for common dolphins with weeks of virtually daily sightings. ‘Dolphin soup’ has been the somewhat unpalatable epithet in use due to the sheer numbers of ‘Delphinus delphis’ in our plying area!

If the dolphins are feeding or otherwise engaged we just sit back and watch them going about their business – but often they choose to come to us – to play on the bow or just to spin around the boat clicking and whistling to the delight of our passengers.

Minke whales

It is rarer that a minke whale will come and associate with the boat – and these occasions can be intimate and almost emotional. One day this year all our passengers except a mother and son had gone ashore. We took the two ‘stayaboards’ to watch a juvenile minke nearby and it decided we required to be closely inspected.

We were stopped in the water and the young whale swam round and round the boat, also making several passes underneath, clearly visible in the calm water – even turning on its side to check us out. It really is incredible to look directly in the eye of a minke whale; a connection that few ever have the chance to feel – a privilege really.

Seal on off shore skerrie Isle of Mull

Staffa and the Treshnish Isles

September and October is a great time for a boat trip to Staffa and Fingal’s Cave, avoiding the busier months of summer.

The Treshnish Isles also have plenty to offer, with an influx of huge numbers of Atlantic Grey Seals. Over 1200 pups are born around the coast each year.

Our vessels depart from Ulva Ferry on the west side of Mull where there is ample parking. All our tours take place in the Loch na Keal National Scenic Area, with views of Ben More, Mull’s only munro (a mountain over three thousand feet), the cliffs of Gribun and Ardmeanach.

Wildlife boat trip from the Isle of Mull
Outlying island off the Isle of Mull with puffins

Wildlife boat trips from the Isle of Mull

Turus Mara boat trips cruise by Ulva, Gometra, Little Colonsay and Inch Kenneth – all islands with differing topography and fascinating stories in their own right. We endeavour to engage, educate and inform on topics as diverse as geology, history, nature and culture, all part of the magic of wildlife boat trips from the Isle of Mull.

Discover more about the island’s amazing wildlife, about our fascinating outlying islands, and the adventures you can enjoy when you stay with us.

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding on the Isle of Mull

Kayaking and paddle boarding on the Isle of Mull have become ever more popular as visitors look to soak up the scenery and sea surrounding the island.

Kayaking with Salen Bay Hire

A peaceful paddle in a kayak delivers you to hard-to-reach coves, and perhaps even brings an encounter with a seal or two. Paddle boarding is also a fun choice, and a great way to watch the sunset from a sheltered bay.

Find out how you could enjoy kayaking and paddle boarding on the Isle of Mull, with options in the north, east and south west for you.

Plan a family holiday on Mull that everyone will enjoy with these great tips for things to do, places to go and the best holiday homes to stay in.
Paddle board around Tobermory’s enchanting bay

Paddle boarding in Tobermory Bay

Yachts and fishing boats are a familiar sight in Tobermory’s iconic harbour, as well as the odd inquisitive seal or two. But now you can take to the water in an entirely new way, by enjoying a paddle boarding experience.

Choose between a one to three hour hire period and soak up the views, scenery and sights of the island’s harbour town from the water with Tobermory Paddle Hire.

Paddle boarding at sunset with Salen Bay Hire
Kayaking with Salen Bay Hire

Paddle boarding and kayaking in Salen Bay

Based in picturesque Salen Bay on the island’s east coast, Salen Bay Hire offer single and double kayak hire as well as paddle boards. Every hire comes with a life jacket and paddle, so it’s just a wetsuit to pack with you.

Sheltered from the wind, this is a lovely spot to spend an hour or two paddling and exploring. Enjoy a unique view of the Salen shipwrecks, so often photographed from the road but rarely viewed from across the water.

Fidden beach on the Ross of Mull

Sailing and kayaking on the Ross of Mull

If you’re staying on the Ross of Mull, then you needn’t miss out on the action. In addition to the treasure trove of sheltered coves for wild swimming on Mull, you can take to the water in a sea kayak with Bendoran Watersports. Choose between a half or full day on the water with a guide, or hire a kayak or dingie if you have suitable experience.

Travel Advice for Guests

Latest Travel information  |  FAQs answered

Ferry
We recommend you book your ferry journey well in advance to ensure you get the sailing you want.  If you do have difficulty getting on the Oban to Craignure sailing, please bear in mind there is a sailing from Lochaline to Fishnish (further north) which is a ‘turn up and go’ service (also run by Calmac). Your journey will be refundable with Calmac if you are unable to travel due to covid restrictions.

Cancellation Policy
In addition to our normal terms and conditions, we have new rules in place owing to the pandemic.  If you are unable to travel to Mull due to a legal requirement by the government (e.g. lockdown in your area, or in Mull), we will offer you a transfer of dates in the first instance and, if that wasn’t agreeable, we will arrange a full refund for you from the owner (and would return our commission element of the fee you paid in full too).

If however, you decide not to travel for any other reason (or if the government advice is advisory, rather than legal), our usual cancellation policy would apply.  That means we will only be able to refund the amount you have paid towards your booking (less an administration fee of £30), if we are able to re-book the accommodation for your period of hire (at the same rate).   We will endeavour to assist guests as best we can through the coming season, and will continue to follow best practice/government advice when it comes to our refund/transfer policy.

Cleaning Protocols
The new cleaning protocols have been passed onto all our property owners and their housekeepers, to allow them to make preparations for receiving guests.  We have put together a general document which we send out to all guests, pre-arrival, to help keep everyone informed and safe, and will give you contact details for the property caretaker/owner, should you have any specific questions.

Please note that in normal circumstances, bed linen is provided at all the properties we let, but at the current time, there are some owners who have implemented changes, and are asking guests to bring their own bed linen this season, so please check the property information carefully before travelling.

Test Before you Travel
To reduce the risk of Covid-19 being brought to our island communities, the Scottish government is encouraging anyone planning on travelling to the islands to
test before they travel.  You can order lateral flow tests for delivery to your home anywhere and they should arrive within 24-48 hours.  This request from the Scottish government is advice rather than mandatory.

Thank you.
Isle of Mull Cottages