Failing to see Orca, May 2019

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and this is the only killer whale we saw!

So my human is completely useless! I’ve been pestering her for ages to log in to WordPress so that I can tell you what I’ve been up to, but she kept saying ‘not now, later’. Finally, months and months later she has logged in, so here I am – yippee!

In May she was getting really excited at the prospect of seeing killer whales. I was very confused as if something was going to kill Wales then I wasn’t sure that I wanted to see it! And how can something kill a country? But eventually it was explained to me that a killer whale is actually an Orca, and they’re also called killer whales because they kill things – great.

We had to drive a long way north, to the very top of mainland UK, but the driving wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be as we didn’t go too far in one day. On the way north we called at a few beaches and this is one of my favourite ones, Findhorn.

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I made an amazing discovery at this beach! When my human blows the whistle, I actually do not have to run straight back to her! I really thought that I did, but it turns out that I don’t. There were really interesting sand dunes on the edge of the beach so I went off to explore them, such exciting smells that I didn’t recognise. I heard the whistle but wanted to sniff some more so I just kept going – and nothing happened! Amazing! But then I turned round and couldn’t see her, that got me a bit worried so I headed back.

We also stopped at a couple of castles, and I thought that this one would make a nice home for the summer:

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(The turrets of Dunrobin castle don’t actually lean like they appear to in the photo.)

When we got to the top the weather was bad, even I didn’t like it, but she sat in the van drinking cups of tea while staring out the window through some strange looking things called binoculars. It did get very boring even though there were lots of friendly humans and quite a few friendly dogs too. Thankfully she gave up when one morning we couldn’t see the sea because of thick cloud.

Human Perspective: If you are interested in trying to see Orca from the UK then Google Orca Watch. It’s brilliant, but you need a lot of patience, and not recommended with a puppy! I parked up at Duncansby Head lighthouse as that was the main watch site. My logic was that so many experts were watching there was a pretty good chance that if the Orca appeared they would be seen. People did see them, but about 5 days after I left! The photo of the inflatable Orca gives an indication of what the weather was like. It was crowded during the day, but by early evening it wasn’t too bad at all.

Millie definitely became more confident as the trip progressed, as shown by her not coming straight back when I blew the whistle on Findhorn beach! That was the first time that had happened, and unfortunately it was not the last! We also stopped at Balmoral, which was lovely, although very busy. They allow motorhomes to park overnight in designated bays in the car park and it’s a lovely quiet spot. Water and toilets are about 100 yards away. When I woke I pulled down a blind and noticed a huge bird circling in the sky. It could have been a golden eagle, well, I’m telling myself it was anyway.

I’m getting bettter at choosing pitches etc.. Definitely not near to the site dog walk! A helpful (?) warden placed me near to the entrance to the dog walk at the Moffat site and that resulted in an awful lot of barking. Nobody seemed to mind except me though. I stayed at the same site on the way south on a different pitch without problems. I also noticed that whereas on the way north Millie was very nervous about walking from the site into the town, 3 weeks later she was fine.  She also had an interesting chat with a lamb!

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The trip lasted about 3 weeks. For the first week the weather was really good, then really bad and finally just bad. It’s a lovely time of the year for Scotland though, so I’ll be going again next year!