Friday, 21 February 2014

Guest Blog - Ruth Abernethy's 'Wild Mull'

Ruth has done two seasons on Mull as a wildlife guide for Sea Life Surveys and is currently completing a masters degree in Marine Biology based at Glasgow.

Last summer was possibly the best three months of my life. The Isle of Mull now feels like a second home for me and when it’s time to leave I feel like I’ve left part of me behind. It’s so refreshing to spend each day on the water surrounded by the beauty of the west coast of Scotland never mind what beasties come to pay a visit to Sula Beag. But when they do, it’s always a pretty special experience.

For me 2013 reached dizzy heights on the sightings scale with my first encounter with Scottish orca and Risso’s dolphins. What creatures!  When Jimbo first told me he had got a text from a fisherman friend who was with two orcas not far from us, I was convinced he was winding me up as I’m notoriously gullible (especially when it’s something I want to hear!) But no, it was true and when I first heard that huge powerful blow and saw the big black sail of a male orca’s dorsal fin, there were no words….. Well there was certainly a squeal! But wow. Surely no one who has ever experienced these burly dolphins in their natural habitat could ever think it wise to keep them in bath tubs, what power and yet elegance. They blew my mind.

And Risso’s dolphins, unlike any encounter with bottlenose or commons, were modest and calm, just getting on with their journey westwards. They were stunning and so very mysterious.
And this was in Scotland…. Scotland!! How lucky we are to have such a mysteriously rich expanse of ocean on our doorsteps.

Another highlight of 2013 was of course the return of our good old friend Knobble. Isn’t it nuts that it’s possible to be on first name terms with a whale? A WHALE?! It’s incredible and undeniably turns me into my five year old self every time he makes an appearance.