Before I do the August catch up I think that the Basking Shark day deserves a post all to itself as will the Killer Whale day in July!! This was Sunday the 30th of August, a grey day but flat calm. The weather both sides was good but to-day overcast.
Seaflower Skye had come over on their regular seafood safari’s, Ewen the skipper mentioned that there were Basking Sharks off of Fladda. I’d heard from visiting yachts that there were a few out and about around the top of Skye, so to get a few photos I thought I would head down for a look around on the RIB.
Lorraine does not like me going alone so I asked Ian Houston who was on one of the moorings we have here. He did not need to be asked twice and off we went. I had told Iain we may see Basking Sharks and he took his rod to see if he could catch his tea.
We arrived at Fladda to find not one but 10 Basking sharks in total just lazily drifting about as they do. There was quite a selection with some huge.
We spent the next hour, most of it with the engine switched off just watching the Sharks swimming about, a fascinating experience.
This has been the best year for Sealife for quite some time, the temperature of the water was at 15 degrees one day and mostly hovering around 14 at this time. I suspect that had a major influence on the amount of Summer Marine Sea Life visitors in the Sound of Raasay.
I think it must be over ten years ago and more when I took a trip with visitors around Rona and on that day we saw 17 Basking Sharks, Minke Whales and a Peregrine bombing the Sea Eagle, that day certainly sticks in the mind.
Since that time there has been a dearth of sealife at the height of the Summer and it has been a hot topic with visitors on Yachts to Rona who sre happy to report their sightings.
It is also noted that water temperatures have been on average low with one dark grey summer a few years ago hardly coming above 10 degrees during the whole summer/year.
On one occasion this day one huge shark decided to swim several times around the RIB and on one occasion had a go at the bow with his tail. The rule of Whale Watching is to give them distance and to not stress them. On this day the Sharks were as interested in us as much as we were in them.
Much to Iain’s astonishment and the fact that he was fishing, one of the Basking Sharks gave us a lot of attention. This one went round us three times one after the other very close, in fact Iain took his line in in case he foul hooked it.
A great once in a lifetime experience.
I spotted Dan Corrigal’s boat MV Stardust further down the Sound and gave him a call. He needed no encouragement and with a boat load of tourists made his way up to Fladda. He told me later the folk on board were blown away seeing the Sharks, one comment was that it was the best boat trip ever and they had been all over the world taking wildlife trips. Stardust Boat Trips.
Finally a link to a video we made of the day just before we headed of into Loch A Sgurr where we saw another two bringing the total on the day to 12, there was some debate about one of the Loch a Sgurr Basking Sharks, we may have seen it earlier. But all in all an amazing day.