John O’Groats Island Cruise

After a nice slow start to the morning we discovered that there is a fresh meat wagon that visits the camp ground we are staying in on a Thursday morning….mmmm. After a quick stock up we enjoyed bacon and eggs (free range from the park kiosk) for a late breakfast. What a way to start the day! We followed breakfast with a shower, before packing the car up for our afternoon’s schedule. Today’s adventure would take us on board the ‘Pentland Venture’, a Wildlife Cruise ferry that leaves from John O’Groats, Caithness at 2:30pm every day between 20 June to 31 August (weather permitting). We paid £37.50 for a family ticket and Mum paid £15 for an adult ticket to board the 90 minute cruise. We then used up our time, while we waited for boarding, buying coffees, hot chocolates, 2 Celtic CD’s and a book about the Johnstone Clan name history.

Just before 2:30pm we all boarded the ‘Pentland Venture’, ready for our adventure upon the beautiful Scottish Seas. The weather was idyllic. Rain had, apparently, been forecast for the day, but stayed well away. The oceans reflected the most amazing blues from the warm, bright sunshine. Absolutely beautiful! We didn’t even need jumpers or coats onboard… not what we expected at all.

The 90 minute tour (which actually took nearly 2 hours) meandered around the Scottish headlands and the Orkney Islands as we watched seals playing in the water, seabirds hunting for fish, lighthouses appear on cliffs, and so much more. We were even serenaded at times by a group of very happy Asian tourists who sang together every time they saw something else amazing. It was really sweet to see how excited they became each time they saw a seal or other sea creature in the water…. Loads of laughter on board for all!

We were surrounded by cameras (most of them Canon – of course!) as we all vied for the ultimate shots of a lifetime! I alternated between our 75-300 zoom with an ND Grad filter and my 15-85 zoom with ND Grad and Circular Polariser filters, quickly changing them at times to get the ‘right’ shot….. so much fun! Zane grabbed the 400D off Matt and shot like mad (as usual), while Darian grabbed for the 50D at one stage to capture a few shots of his own. We really do need another camera…lol (Oh, wait… they do own their own Canon Powershot cameras). It would appear that there really is nothing quite like having a real camera in your hands when you need to take a great photo!

While we didn’t get nearly as close to the seals as we did on our own little adventure yesterday, we had an amazing time on board the cruise. What a way to spend an afternoon! While taking some seaside shots after we departed the cruise, the boys decided to deliberately get in the photos of the group of very-happy Asian tourists who had made our trip oh-so-merry. When we then went to take a photo of the boys at the signpost showing where we were two of them decided they would like a photo with Zane and Darian…. A great bit of multi-cultural connectivity … love it! The world really is a small place if we just let it be that way. At the end of the day those of us who are adventurous enough to explore this great big globe really do have a connection… no matter where we come from!

Say Cheese!


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