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  • Writer's picture Jana

A Three Isle Tour, A Three Isle Tour.

Unlike the doomed SS Minow's three-hour tour, on the beloved 1960s show, Gilligan's Island, our eleven-hour, three-isle tour, went off without a hitch. Not only did we have an absolutely fabulous day on the seas of the North Atlantic Ocean, but we made it back to shore safely thankfully, rather than shipwrecked on some unchartered desert Isle (what is a desert isle anyway).

This past Saturday we spent the day (and I mean the entire day) ferrying to and between Mull, Staffa, and Ioana, three islands of the Inner Hebrides that lie off the west coast of Scotland in the council area of Argyll and Bute. We departed from Oban at 9:30 in the morning and did not return again until nearly 8:30 at night. It seems never to grow dark in Scotland at this time of year, so we were blessed with daylight for the entirety of the trip.

We used a company called West Coast Tours to plan our day. They in turn used Staffa Tours for the smaller ferry rides between some of the islands. The staff was kind and professional and the tour was flawless. We took four different ferries and five ferry rides in total throughout the day. Some of the ferries were large, carrying cars and tour buses on the lower decks while some were much smaller. Please use this link to learn more about the tour we took and see some fabulous photos:

We had the most perfect weather we have had thus far on the trip (both the day before and the day after our tour, it rained quite a bit). Like our other island trip that was canceled in Ireland, there is always a risk of canceled ferries due to poor weather conditions, so we were grateful for the good weather.

We saw Fingal's Cave, which is a huge sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, known for its natural acoustics. It became known as Fingal's Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson. Much to Miles' delight, we volcanic rock formations filled with adorable harbor seals and their wee pups. Also much to Miles' delight, we were up close to a large colony of precious Puffin birds who made their home high atop Staffa Island with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and crashing waves below. On Mull, we saw scenery of breathtaking lochs (lakes) and lush green mountains. On Iona, we saw the Iona Abbey which is one of the oldest Christian religious centers in Western Europe, dating back to 800 AD. Also on Iona, we walked to a beach with waters as blue as the Caribbean with cows and sheep grazing on the adjacent green, grassy pastures.

For anyone who travels, you know that some days are better than others, for a multitude of reasons (weather, accommodations, food, varying moods of your travel companions, etc.). I must say that although long, this was one of our best days yet,

I shot 527 photos that day. Please see a few of my favorites, below.

Must see! Use this link to watch a video and importantly, to hear our charming Scottish ferry captain describing Fingal's Cave on Staffa:

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