During our last trip we had the pleasure of showcasing Argyll and Arran to the Lakes’ for their family cruise holiday aboard ‘Splendour’.
Slipping the lines at Holy Loch Marina we headed for Loch Striven for our first night aboard. Hugging the shoreline, many porpoise were spotted, with Gannets diving off the port side. Dropping anchor in 19m of water at the head of Loch Striven the Gardner engine was shut down and the generator given a well deserved rest. With complete silence and the picturesque setting it was time for drinks and canapès.
After the first nights sleep aboard Splendour and a hearty breakfast the anchor was lifted, south we head to the island of Great Cumbrae for a recital in the cathedral of the isles.
A special Sunday service was rewarded the following day with glass calm seas and beautiful sunshine throughout. With perfect conditions we sailed to Ailsa Craig, where there were Gannets galore – many more breeding pairs than previous years. Puffins have become well established visitors to the rock and similarly have increased in numbers, a great sight for all. Taking full advantage of the incredible day the anchor was dropped in 10m of water to explore the volcanic plug. Not to miss an unforgettable moment Mike the chef spared sometime from the galley to climb to the top with the Lakes’ for magical views to his homeland of Ireland.
The next day an amazing sighting of a 40ft minke whale was spotted off Carradale, the Mull of Kintyre – our first of the season! With calm seas it was easy to spot from the wheelhouse and upper decks. Breaking the surface 3 times allowing all to see, we carried on North after our encounter from the deep for walks along the Crinan Canal.
Any visit to Arran has to include a trip to the award winning ‘Isle of Arran Distillers’ not forgetting the close encounters with the red deer population and a quick stop at Loch Ranza castle, a day enjoyed by all before cruising through the beautiful Kyles of Bute.
With special thanks to all onboard, especially our youngest guest yet, Eddie of 4 months!