Oban to Corpach, Scotland

Aug 31, 2018 - Lord of the Glens

Waking in the west coast port town of Oban, we were met with beaming sunshine—setting the mood for our day. We sailed inland through Loch Linnhe where we were met by not one but two white-tailed eagles, one of which soared majestically above us for some time. We also spotted several groups of harbor seals, hauled-out of the water on rocky skerries enjoying the sunshine, and then a group of three porpoises—the smallest member of the whale and dolphin family found in the Northeast Atlantic. 

As we traveled, our certified photo instructor Brenda delivered an illuminating talk on smartphone photography, with a range of new hints and tips on how to make the most of our phones. The sun was still with us as we entered the Caledonian Canal and following our arrival at the small village of Corpach, we set off to sample some of the local delicacy at the Ben Nevis Distillery!

After everyone had tried the local whiskey, our group split into two, with many choosing to visit the picturesque Glenfinnan Estate with its still lochs and rolling highland hills. It was also a chance for any fiction fans to see the iconic Harry Potter viaduct, which runs through the estate; facilitating the passage of the celebrated Hogwarts Express train. For a smaller contingent of the group, a kayak trip around the waters of Loch Linnhe gave us a privileged view of close-up harbor seals, a large group of grey herons, lion’s main jellyfish and huge flocks of pirouetting herring gulls. 

Upon return to the ship, we were treated to a talk from our captain, Tony Reading, on the construction of the Caledonian Canal. After dinner, our day finished off with an evening presentation from Alastair Gibson, the manager at the Glenfinnan Estate who joined us in his traditional Scottish tweeds. 

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About the Author

Ella Potts


Ella’s passion has always been in marine conservation, with a childhood spent swimming, kayaking or boating in the chilly waters of the UK, or surveying the marine life of those waters from windswept headlands. She has numerous, distinct early memories of shivering adults, wrapped up in jumpers and cagoules, looking down at her with slight horror through sheets of rain and commenting on her short sleeves. A phenomena that persists to this day.  She graduated with a Masters degree in Marine Biology: Conservation and Resource Management from Swansea University, setting her up for a career protecting those marine ecosystems that she so loves. 

Ella has worked for several British whale conservancy charities, including ORCA and the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) and is a British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) marine mammal medic. She has a real passion for lecturing, and during her time in these different organizations has presented to vastly ranging audiences; from groups of young children right up to filled auditoriums at the headquarters of HWDT partner, WWF. 

About the Photographer

Brenda Tharp

Brenda Tharp

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For over 20 years, Brenda has used her photographs of the world to celebrate its beauty, and inspire others to protect what we have. Brenda grew up exploring the woods, lakes, and coastlines of New Jersey and New England and her family traveled regularly throughout the eastern U.S., camping, hiking, backpacking, and canoeing. She spent most of her childhood engaging with nature in some form or another and learning about animal behavior. When her father taught her some photography at 13, Brenda soon combined her love for nature with her newfound passion, and several years later her adventure began as a freelance photographer, teacher, and writer.

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