Thursday, 20 October 2016

Hebridean Princess Visit

The sun rose this morning shortly after eight o'clock, peeping through a gap along the horizon to light the undersides of a blanket of cloud, the colours....

....becoming richer and the textures more spectacular by the moment.

Half an hour later, with the sun well above the horizon and the colours turned to old gold, the Hebridean Princess came up the Sound and....

....anchored off Port nam Marbh just by the CalMac pier, where the Marine Harvest fish farm tender Lagavullin, which is permanently stationed here, had just come in to the slipway to collect four tonnes of equipment to be ferried out to the cages.

Upward of fifty passengers were disembarked from the Hebridean Princess in an impressively smooth operation, and landed.... the fish farm pontoon, where they were loaded into two Shiel buses for a morning's expedition to the Ardnamurchan lighthouse visitors' centre. After returning to the ship for lunch, they're visiting the Ardnamurchan Distillery at Glenbeg this afternoon.

Some 700,000 young salmon have arrived at the Maclean's Nose cages in the last few weeks and are doing very well. As manager Rosie Curtis put it, "they've hit the water running." A further 300,000 will be joining them over the next few months, so the facility will be up to its maximum capacity of a million fast-growing fish.

It was a busy place but the local wildlife has quickly learned to adapt. While all this was going on....

....a young shag was hunting for its breakfast, almost totally ignoring all the human activity in the bay and only very reluctantly moving out of the way of the Lagavullin.

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