The trip begins at Easdale pier, south of Oban, where you’ll begin with a safety briefing on shore and be kitted out with a waterproof jacket and trousers, a lifejacket and a pair of binoculars. Tours take place on an open rigid-hulled inflatable boat with space for 12 passengers, each with their own seat
You’ll set off in the direction of Jura to the south. The boat can travel quite fast so the boat ride is quite thrilling in its own right, but the skipper will slow down as you approach some of the smaller Inner Hebridean Islands so you can observe the deer and feral goats. The guides are good at pointing out wildlife and you’re also likely to spot seals, otters and plenty of seabirds and possibly frisking pods of dolphins as well as white-tailed eagles.
Soon you’ll reach the Grey Dogs, the narrow channel of water between Lunga and Scarba which is notorious for its tidal races. During a spring tide, there’s an obvious difference between the water level on the ocean side of the islands and that on the inner sound.
From here, you’ll head to the Gulf of Corryvreckan, the narrow channel of water between Scarba and Jura. Strong currents from the Atlantic rush through the narrow gulf and meet a tall pinnacle of rock rising from the depths which can generate waves of up to 9m (30ft) during high tides. Under the right conditions, the swell creates the whirlpool and the fast-moving waters attract a vast array of wildlife to the area including minke whales, porpoises, seals and basking sharks.
If safe to do so, the boat will enter the whirlpool so that passengers can feel the force of the swirling water below them before heading back towards Easdale. The trip takes around two hours in total and we recommend bringing lots of warm layers because the boat travels quickly out on open water and can generate a cool wind even on warm days.