Whales seen in the Gare Loch for the first time in 40 years.

Whale Watching

For the first time in 40 years, we’ve been whale watching in the Gare Loch, up by the village of Garelochhead and you can, as I am doing right now,  sit in the window of Balquidder and watch them. 

I keep an eye on the local Facebook groups so when I read that there were whales sighted in the Gare Loch, I immediately messaged the guests to let them know. E sent back a lovely message about their week which included red squirrels, what they think was a hen harrier diving bombing her at the bottom of the steep section of the drive and whale watching as they waited for a bus into Helensburgh to have dinner at the Sugar Boat.

Another guest wrote the most beautiful review in the visitors book complete with whale drawings.

“As with so many other comments, thank you for extending your lovely home to us. A September break to remember. Arrival in dazzling sunshine and “what’s that noise?”. Turned out to be the Northern Bottlenose Whale’s tail slapping the water. This was followed by them breaching up from the water and splashing down. Incredible. We got settled in and explored the village and prepared for the next day. We were going to climb one of the hills and swim in Loch Lomond. However that was all on hold as the whales visited again. So the day’s activities were four and a half hours of whale watching before heading to Loch Lomond. It was too late for swimming but I would not change it for anything. The weans are already planning the next visit. Thank you again.”

M Family, September 2020
Review, Whale watching from Garelochhead

Other lovely, lovely reviews include comments like:

“Mum loved the bath, she had a big bubbly one” and “the river was fun too, we spent ages playing and trying to make a dam”

H Family, August 2020

My daughter would 100% agree with this, she spends hours in both the burn and the bath.  More amusing is hearing her tell people we have 3 waterfalls which makes Balquidder sound much grander than it actually is. The burn at the back is impressive after a day or two of rain and the flow does split into three cascades which could loosely be described as waterfalls but they aren’t there all the time.

This review made me laugh and as is so often the way, I was once again sorry that we don’t get to meet our guests in person.  I think we’d be friends with a lot of them.

“Thank you for your beautiful house, big view of submarines! Thanks for the use of your boat! Admittedly it was a little difficult to get to but we managed (it’s a big grey one). I’m sure future guests will find it easier if you mention you have one. Hope you enjoy the new miis on your wii.”

H and G Families, August 2020
Balquidder Holiday Cottage, Argyll and Bute Review

There was a tremendous effort coordinated by the BDMLR in conjunction with the Royal Navy, the RNLI and other local organisations to encourage the whales back out to sea last Thursday which sadly failed as the whales slipped under the boats and headed back up the loch. The whales are being continuously monitored and their wellbeing is uppermost in everyone’s mind.  As much as I am loving watching them this afternoon, I do have my fingers crossed that they find their way out and head back to their home soon.