I had a day off yesterday. It started out pretty grey+wet, so I decided to treat myself to morning coffee at the St Columba Hotel (although, in truth, the coffee turned out to be rather disappointing). But the weather gradually improved, so I went for a walk and ended up sketching near the jetty. Great fellow-volunteer friend Adam had just waved off his friend on the ferry when he noticed some dolphins on the Sound and called me over. So we spent the next 45 minutes or so scanning the water for any sign and being mesmerised by their antics whenever we caught sight of them (perhaps a group of five dolphins in total?)… and a lot of this happened just 100 metres or so away from us too!Needless to say, I took lots of photographs – but, inevitably, several were just of blue water (with absolutely no sign of ANY dolphins!) or somewhat blurred or just boringly small. However, I felt very fortune to have had half a dozen or so turn out pretty reasonably – and very privileged to have watched those amazing creatures.
Later, in the evening, as if nature hadn’t already excelled itself, I was walking back from the Abbey to my Iona “home” along the shoreline and I spotted a group of gannets soaring into the sky and then plunging down into the Sound (you first notice the sporadic splashes in the water, then you see the blurred white of the birds as they enter the water at high speed). I watched them for about 10 minutes. Sadly, they were too far off for me take any photographs(!) – but the sight of them was quite spectacular.
An amazing day!
PS: google reckons that the collective name for a group of gannets is either a “plunging” or a “company” of gannets!