Overnight we crossed from Ireland to the Inner Hebrides, a group of islands off the southwest coast of Scotland. Our first landfall was Staffa. This small island consists of tens of thousands of hexagonal basaltic columns that formed around 60 million years ago, when massive outpourings of magma quickly cooled and solidified.Once we were ashore, Staffa’s puffin colony was the main attraction. These birds dig tunnels in the soil and lay a single egg in a breeding chamber at its end. The chick is raised underground. This comical-looking bird was a guest favorite, and we spent a lot of time watching individual puffins return to their burrows from foraging excursions out at sea. The high-pitched vocalization of fast-flying oystercatchers as well as cormorants, shags, and great black-backed and herring gulls added variety to our visit. A nature reserve, Staffa comes under the auspices of the National Trust for Scotland. From the landing area, a narrow pathway leads to a small platform that affords excellent views of the most famous feature of the island, Fingal’s Cave, and many of the guests took advantage of this.