|The early years with Sula in her life jacket...|
I first met the beautiful Sula in 2010 when I started working for SLS and she was great company for me when leaving home as she would help make up for missing my two border terriers back in Cumbria. My early memories would be on mornings before a Whalewatch at Taigh Solais seeing her jump out of Popz's car to come and greet everyone with that cute little teddy bear like face running towards you. A noise I will never forget is the sound of her feet and claws trotting along the wooden pontoon at the start and end of every trip, it will stick with me for life.
|Popz and Sula scanning the seas...|
As I came back for a second and third season on Mull I would (like a lot of people) be attached to Sula spending long hours at sea with her as she would provide fantastic company to all on board. I will always remember being sat alone on the bow with her as we would be sailing into the cairns of coll and I would be waiting to drop the anchor and Sula would be interacting with the seals.
|Myself and Sula...|
I remember when she used to chase flies in the saloon during Popz's introductory talk making everybody laugh. The passengers would grow fond of her throughout the trips taking lots of photos as sometimes it would seem that they would give more attention to Sula than the wildlife on show!
|Ruth and Sula on the bow watching Common Dolphins|
Another memory is when she turned up for work one morning covered in honey as Popz explained that she got into one of his bee hives and had a forage. She would still be covered for the next few days as Popz just let it come off naturally.
|On the way back from the Cairns...|
At the end of every trip as we pulled up to the pontoon Sula would always be first off as she would head up the ramp and have a sniff around and do her business As it was time to head out to the mooring Popz would stand on the aft deck and scan the area and say 'wheres that girl?' before raising his fingers to his mouth and blowing a very powerful whistle and within a few seconds she would always appear at the top of the ramp sprinting down the pontoon like a bullet before leaping on board Sula Beag (named after the great dog).
|Popz chasing Sula and Sula chasing a Dolphin!|
On the 9th September we had a Whalewatch and Popz's wife Judy was on board to pay tribute to Sula. We arrived at the sunny Cairns of Coll for lunch and all signed a memorial card for Sula and had a glass of champagne while Judy sang a beautiful song. In the afternoon we encountered up to a hundred interacting Common Dolphins in two separate pods as we could hear their clicks and whistles from the bow. A fitting tribute to Sula...
Photos and messages for Sula from all around the world flooded in to Sea Life Surveys facebook page which you can view and contribute to here...https://www.facebook.com/sealifesurveys
|Jimbo with a very young Sula...photo by captain Lewy|
We will miss you Sula thanks for all the happy memories :)