Calum Mackenzie started boat trips in Plockton using a former River Thames Police Launch having bought the boat for the princely sum of £30. Calum had the idea of taking guests of the Plockton Hotel around the waters of Loch Carron and occasionally further afield to Kishorn to see the construction of the awesome oil rigs on which he once worked! He has been sailing these waters for over 35 years, nobody knows the seals and dolphins better than him. And they have got to know him pretty well too!Calum and all of the crew look forward to once again welcoming you aboard the ‘Sula Mhor’!
I was born in Skye and went to Kyleakin Primary School and then on to Portree High School. My real interest was in Sport although I managed to acquire 4 Highers and 8 O Grades. I still don’t know how I managed that, and I suspect, neither did my teachers. I moved on from High School and spent 4 years at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen where I completed my Diploma in Drawing and Painting. My passion for sport, mainly football, badminton, and rugby, saw me joining Formartine United who played in the Junior East football league. I then went to Teacher Training College but realised fairly early on that a career as a teacher didn’t really appeal. I moved back to Skye and spent 20 years in the fishing industry before joining Lochalsh Leisure Centre, firstly as assistant manager to Hugh Macquarrie and then as Manager for the last 17 years before retiring. I got married to Jill and we have a son Jonathon who has his own plumbing business. I now enjoy working for Calum and Jane on the Sula Mhor as part of the crew.
My name is Douglas Hamilton and I’m 68 years old. I’ve been married for 45 years and have two children and four grandchildren. My wife and I have lived in this area for over 40 years although we originally come from Edinburgh. We owned and ran Plockton Stores for 25 years when first coming here. Thereafter, we had a historic map business which was part time. At that time I started working for Calum on his seal boat. I’ve always had a keen interest in natural history so this was the perfect job. Before coming here I worked in scientific research for a large pharmaceutical company having previously done a biology degree at Strathclyde University. It was my interest in wildlife that drew me to study biology. However, work in the pharmaceutical company was not my dream job and I was keen to do something different. Hence the move north to Plockton. When we moved we didn’t know how things would work out but as we are still here it obviously did! It would be difficult to envisage living anywhere else now. Working on the boat trips is a perfect outlet for my interests because as well as having beautiful scenery to view every day there is always the likelihood that you will see some interesting bird or mammal (seals of course!). Its is also nice to meet so many different people from all walks of life and from all over the world. In addition I enjoy sailing in the local sailing club and so what better way to pass a day that to be out on the water! Hope you enjoy your boat trip.
I was born in Edinburgh, but came with my husband to live in this area in 1972. We have three children who were educated entirely in Plockton. I have been happily retired since 2010 after a career in education in Plockton High School. I began working for Calum in 2013. I have always loved the sea and enjoy sailing my local boat in club races, so the opportunity to work part-time as crew on Calum’s boat was very appealing. We have spectacular scenery which I never take for granted and which changes all the time according to the weather. One never knows what wildlife may be seen and we meet so many people from across the globe, so life is full of interest on the water. Having studied French and Geography at Edinburgh University, I feel that I am able to contribute with my interest in the landscape and my ability to converse with passengers in French when the need arises, which helps to prevent the rust form setting in too quickly!
Hello, my name’s Sheila and you will usually find me in Calum’s
Seal Trips and the shop at 23 Harbour Street. I answer inquiries and man the till. I look out enviously on sunny days as the Sula Mhor sails up the loch – if the weather isn’t so fine I’m glad my job is to help customers and keep the shelves stocked with lovely things. Please come in and say hello! People come back year after year and it’s always nice to see familiar faces and have a chat and a laugh. I also enjoy helping to find that special something for folk to take home with them.