Inverness, Scotland, UK.
It was one of those perfect mornings. The air still crisp from the night and the perfect light blue of the sky reflected in the mirror-like ocean water. Our boat almost felt like a disturbance to the stillness of the morning. All around birds chattered away in their own world between sky and water.
They appeared shortly after we had sailed past Chanonry Point Lighthouse. First a shy dorsal fin in the distance. But in a matter of minutes we were surrounded by them. Those famous bottlenose dolphins. They obviously wanted to make clear, how silly we were, sitting on that boat, all dressed in fluorescent yellow! For it was so much nicer to play in the water.
I do prefer their Dutch name though. ‘Tuimelaar’ literally translates to ‘tumbler’ in English, which perfectly describes their behaviour. It doesn’t matter how much you see dolphins in the wild, it stays equally exiting.
After a good ten minutes we slowly sailed further west, for some grey seals were awaiting our visit. The day was only getting better, little did I know we would also encounter an Osprey later that day, while sailing on the afternoon trip.
I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Being on the water all day every day, surrounded by such amazing wildlife and scenery. It felt so good and so surreal to announce the following phrase: “Good afternoon and welcome aboard the Dolphin Spirit. My name is Ellen and I will be your guide today.”
Dolphin Spirit Inverness
In the capital of the Scottish Highlands, ducked away in the Moray Firth, lies a wildlife tour operator that gives your trip on the water a personal touch! I got the chance to work with them during the month of August.
The whole team of Dolphin Spirit Inverness is extremely skilled, knowledgeable and just a pleasure to be around. The best way to explore the Moray Firth is on one of their tours. Find them here.
Oh, somewhere in these amazing weeks, I learned some other stuff too:
1. It is in fact possible, to find a sunken submarine, to proceed with the necessary actions and to end up owning the damn thing
2. There is a very small window between ‘Should we sail out in this weather?’ and ‘We can’t possible sail out in this weather!’. It is called ‘the fun zone’. The waves will probably prevent you from seeing wildlife, but if you’re a fan of the elements, your trip will be memorable.
3. Little did I know just how many odd ways there are, you can try to put on a life vest.
4. Despite what the people of Inverness will tell you and their history on the fact, they definitely do speak with that ‘Scottish’ accent.
5. Somehow a fear lives among local hikers, that all hikes will be swamped every day in summer. I can understand where it comes from though, seeing more tourists, fully dressed in flashy hiking gear, than locals, roaming in the city centre of Inverness. But a few randomized tests have proven this to be not true.
I want to express my gratitude to Yvette, who made it possible for me the to join the team for a while; and for welcoming me with such a big heart. To the team of Dolphin Spirit Inverness, for teaching me, telling me stories and making me laugh. To Jemma, for being the sweetest and most amazing host I could wish for.