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One-hour seal trips

 

The first thing you need to know is that we use two departure points depending on the tidal conditions — the Main Pier at the end of Cooper Street, and the Pontoon at the car park. Please check the village notices for daily departure points.

The  One-hour Seal Trip is unique because, unlike other boat trip operators who may promise you will see seals on every trip, we don’t, no-one can but we guarantee that you will get the trip free if there are no seals. As the longest established boat trip operator in Skye & Lochalsh, I know there are times when the seals will have simply disappeared. There could be many reasons — high tide, canoes chasing them off or they have just gone elsewhere; after all it is nature in the wild. Do not believe anyone who says you’ll see seals every trip.

Otters may be sighted on any part of the trip along with many species of sea birds. Dolphins and porpoise are becoming more regular visitors. Visit our Wildlife page for photographs of some of the species we might see on the trip.

What people tell us from the comments in the visitor’s book is that they get a warm and friendly welcome from a skipper and crew who enjoy what they are doing, as well as a great commentary. Children especially love the trip.

No two trips are exactly the same, but you will always get unrivalled opportunities to photograph Duncraig Castle from the sea. This is the castle built in 1863 by Sir Alexander Matheson and later owned by the Dobson family from Nottingham who were filmed by the BBC in 2004 (‘The Dobsons of Duncraig’). You will also hear a brief part of its history in our commentary. The castle has been sold to new owners in 2009 and  starts a new life as a B and B and conference centre.

When the tide is high enough, we sail round Heron Island (Eilean na Creag Duibhe), which is covered in Scots Pine and is a heronry. Heron Island is said to have inspired J M Barrie as the setting for the ‘Island of the Lost Boys’ in Peter Pan. Barrie passed by many times when he travelled on the train to Kyle en-route to the Outer Hebrides for his holidays.

The railway line from Inverness to Kyle runs along the shore line — think about the effort that went into building this line with all the huge rock cuttings. The trains run daily and you might be lucky enough to see the ‘Royal Scotsman’ train that comes regularly during the summer. The passengers disembark at Plockton Station where their own bus takes them down to the village, from where they take a private trip on the 'Sula Mhor'  to see the seals.

As we all know, the weather is very important. On a good day, everywhere you look you will have stunning views, but even on a bad day the scenery can be atmospheric, from the magnificent Applecross Mountains and Bealach Na Ba (Pass of the Cattle, the highest road in the shortest distance in Britain), to the inspiring Cuillin Range on the Isle of Skye and north to the Torridon Mountains.

The trip always finishes with a tour of the harbour, giving you the chance to get some fantastic photographs of Plockton from the sea. If you want to know anything about Hamish Macbeth or ‘The Wicker Man’, please ask. Maybe you saw me in Hamish Macbeth . . . if you didn’t blink!