Images taken at Dolphin Trips Avoch. April 2017.
It has somehow been a whole month since we returned home from our trip to Scotland, yet I still have so many more photos to share! As we were staying so close to Inverness and Moray Firth, one thing we really hoped we’d see up there were bottlenose dolphins. Hearing about the many companies running ‘wildlife spotting’ boat trips, we looked around and narrowed it down to a couple of potential ones to try.
Dolphin Trips Avoch was originally our favourite find; a small boat seating just 12 people, yet an affordable price for a family ticket. However, our 6 year old was at first a little unsure about this and said he’d prefer to go on a bigger, more enclosed boat (he’d previously been on a ferry and was quite happy inside, but not keen on being out on the deck). So we thought it might be a better idea to head for a different one in Inverness… only to be told there would no longer be a sailing that morning and the next would be around lunch time. With plans already in place for that afternoon, we only had a few hours to spare, so drove around the firth and thought we’d actually give Dolphin Trips Avoch a go after all. And we were so glad we did!
You can see the look of nervous excitement on our son’s face, and although he held on tight throughout the trip, he was smiling all the way and absolutely loved the experience. We all have to admit to being a little surprised how quickly the boat sped out of the harbour, I think we were expecting to tootle along! Once we were out near Chanonry Point (a dolphin sighting hotspot), we did slow down to look out for signs of wildlife. Sightings of course cannot be guaranteed as these are wild animals who do as they please, but as the skipper said, if the crowds at Chanonry Point are right down at the water’s edge and getting their feet wet, there’s usually something to see! And on this occasion, there certainly was. It was quite an experience to see dolphins leaping out of the water, catching salmon, and swimming underneath the boat from one side to the other. We felt very lucky to see a mother and calf swimming together and I’m so glad I managed to get some photos as I was almost too mesmerised to take any! The boat trip lasted around an hour and we circled around to Fort George before heading back to Avoch.
Despite the initial uncertainty, our son has not stopped talking about this and it was definitely one of the highlights of his week!