Fort Augustus to Inverness

Sep 02, 2018 - Lord of the Glens


After an exciting morning of making our way through the canal lochs at Fort Augustus, we triumphantly ventured into the beautiful, panoramic surrounds of Loch Ness. As we cruised along, Carol gave a fascinating talk on the Jacobite rebellion and explained how this eventually led to the dark period of Scottish history, the Highland Clearances. About halfway down Loch Ness, we encountered the ruins of Urquhart Castle, a historically strategic military fortification, set on a promontory which extends into the loch. While we enjoyed the castle and sunshine, we also scanned the loch for freshwater species and took in the rich landscapes.

After lunch we made it to our final destination in the Muirtown Basin, Inverness. Upon arrival, we journeyed by coach through Inverness to the historic site of the Battle of Culloden, where we explored the museum and grounds. Afterwards, we traveled back in time to the Iron Ages, with a visit to the site of the Clava Cairns—three large and impressive, ancient burial chambers. The setting sun painted the cairns in beautiful colors and a few of us enjoyed a moment of meditation. 

Upon arrival back at the boat, we enjoyed the fruits of our photographic labors with a wonderful slideshow compiled by Brenda, before crew and guests made their 'thank yous' and farewells before dinner. Dinner saw a wonderful rendition of Robert Burns's "Address to a Haggis," as given by hotel manager, Brian. We finished off the day with some wonderful dancing from a local highland dance group. 

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About the Author

Ella Potts

Naturalist

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

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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