Basking shark feeding on plankton in Gunna Sound, Coll, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
From Ariganour I paddled south along the east coast of Coll passing the big open Crossapol Bay with extensive sandy beaches, and stopped to camp near Calgary Point and the small island of Gunna in the strait that divides Coll from the adjacent Isle of Tiree. It was another really beautiful location, and kayaking around to the west coast allowed me to experience the ocean swells and the feeling of open exposure to the North Atlantic. The next morning shortly after heading out for the long crossing to the south end of Mull and then Lunga, I had the encounter that I had been hoping for – basking sharks !! In the distance I could see their tall tail fins sweeping from side to side, and as I got closer, their unmistakeably comical bulbous snout ploughing across the surface above their massively inflated jaws while feeding on plankton. I was so excited, and full of eager anticipation to get close enough to see them underwater. It was one of those magical moments akin to when I had my first whale encounters in a kayak. I couldn’t wait!!
- © 2012 Duncan Murrell
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- From the Isle of Mull to the Small Isles via Coll and Lunga