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Just received some more fantastic photos of the area around Achiltibuie, Coigach is real unique part of Britain, no where else feels the same. You certainly would not feel like you are sharing an Island with 65 million folk when you are up here. Even better if the Zombies to appear, it’s not a bad place to be 🙂
The walks in this area are stunning and plentiful, Stac Pollaidh walk with an optional ascent up to the ridge. The whole walk has fantastic views over Assynt to the north and the Summer Isles and Achiltibuie to the south and west. Getting to the very top of Stac Pollaidh involves a scramble over a very tricky section. An excellent angled path makes the going easy underfoot. The climb up to the ridge is steep.
This is a 4 hour boat cruise of approx 35 miles. Heading out from Ullapool they sail in the middle of Loch Broom to Camus passong Mhaoraich (Mussel Bay), where the Atlantic Grey Seals are often seen basking on the rocks.
We then sail across Annat Bay towards Carn-nan-Sgeir, known locally as ‘The Skerries’, and in recent years a favourite location for a large collony common seals, before heading into the Summer Isles themselves.
Passing through the various Summer Isles, a wide variety of seabirds, seal, porpoises, dolphins and Minke whales are often seen.
They visit Cathedral Cave on the west side of Tanera Beag a wonderful example of the effects of geology and erosion. If the weather is good we will try to get a look in the cave…
On leaving the cave we travel through the narrow seaways between the islands and arrive at the sheltered haven of Tanera Mhor, the principle and only inhabited island in the group of Summer Isles. During the late 18th century this island was an important herring fishing station and the ruins of the old buildings can still be seen. We stay here for about 45 minutes and passengers can go ashore and explore, or visit the cafe and post office. The Summer Isles produce their own postage stamps which are well known for their artistic merit. They are collected by philatelists throughout the world and have been graciously accepted in the Royal Collection. For the more adventurous a short walk to the top of the hill opens up a view of scenic splendour. On a clear day you can see Skye and the Outer Hebrides quite clearly as well as the major mountains in the area. One of the crew men often lifts a lobster pot whilst at the island which can be of interest if it has some crabs and other shellfish. If you are scared of crabs, be sure to let the crew know so they can show you one up close!
After we visit Tanera Mhor we pass by Horse Island and Goat Island where we often see common and grey seals, migrating porpoise and even the odd basking shark. This stretch of sea also offers great views over Coigach as well as to some of the well known peaks of Assynt.
We head back across Annat Bay and navigate the coastline of Isle Martin and to Rhue Point where the lighthouse welcomes us back to Loch Broom.
As well as the wildlife, we try to touch upon the history, culture, geology and other elements that make this area so wonderful to visit and experience. Our crew are all wildlife enthusiasts and take pleasure in trying to share their knowledge and experience so feel free to ask any questions. Commentary is given at sites of interest and to point out animals we pass. Please note, the commentary is in English but we try to maintain a list of animal names in various languages – although we make no promise that we pronounce them right!
The afternoon cruise does not stop on an island (to land on the Summer Isles, please take our morning cruise to Tanera) but we venture out the the first of the Summer Isles encountering a variety of wildlife on the wy.
On leaving the pier we head out through Loch Broom towards Annat Bay.
Once in Annat Bay we head to Carn-nan-Sgeir – also known as ‘The Skerries’ that is home to a number of nesting and migrating sea birds along with a lively common seal colony. The seals have their pups in May/June so we get to see the young ones from when they are newly born and watch as they learn to swim and survive on their own by the late summer.
On our return we work our way along the coast of the Scoraig Peninsula where you can see the remains of the Annat Monastery, the remote crofting community of Achmore and we watch for visiting whale, dolphin and porpoise that frequently feed in the waters of the bay.
The coast line also offers a chance to look for White Tailed Sea Eagles. A magnificent and still rare bird of prey, we are fortunate enough to have a pair visit this part of the coast to roost – and we believe breed, though we are as yet to establish where the elusive pair might have settled.
On our return we watch for sun bathing grey seals and take in the coast and geology that leads back to Ullapool.
See there website for more information www.summerqueen.co.uk