It’s important to point out that you don’t need to be an expert of any description to enjoy a cruise on Chalice. No matter what reason motivates you to join us – a relaxing break, fantastic scenery and seascapes, the natural history, or finding your ‘roots’ – the wildlife and beauty of the Hebrides is all around you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what ‘it’ is that you’re looking at(we will help with that, if you’re interested) the main thing is that you enjoy seeing ‘it’!
If you join us specifically to come and see the wildlife of the Scottish Hebrides, then you won’t be disappointed. Birdlife abounds, and you can easily expect to see in excess of sixty different types of bird, from magnificent Sea Eagles to the tiny and exclusive St Kilda wren. For an example of 96 species spotted by one guest, click here. Cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoise – are always present in Hebridean waters and are joined mid-season by basking sharks, which can be easily observed from the deck of Chalice.
Elusive otters are always a delight to watch, and are present around most of the quiet anchorages that we might use – but you’ll need a keen eye, patience and a touch of luck! Seals are far from elusive, but just as delightful to watch as they bask on rocks in the sun, or perform their comical ‘bottling’ routine in the water. And did you know they can ‘sing’? This is an eerie and haunting noise when you first hear it, and you’ll soon understand the mystery of folklore behind the ‘selkies’.
There were some unusual visitors to these waters in 2004 too – several boats reported good sightings of the bizarre sunfish, while the Sound of Sleat was host to a visiting humpback whale. Having received a report that this creature had been seen in these waters, Chalice was able quickly locate it and watch the spectacle unfold as it lunged to the surface scattering seabirds and fish as it fed.