As I mentioned in my previous post, Loch Eil is an extension of Loch Linnhe, starting where this stretch of water swings suddenly westwards near Fort William. Views of the loch can be enjoyed by passengers on the Jacobite steam train, which runs the length
of the northern shore, and the A830, also known as the Road To The Isles, also follows this shore. On the north shore is an Outward Bound Centre located in a former highland shooting lodge in an area described as the "Outdoor Capital" of the UK. The Centre boasts spectacular views of Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis and it has its own railway station. In 2008 a northern bottle-nosed whale managed to find its way into Loch Eil, where it appeared to be having a nice time swimming around and jumping out of the water, feeding on the herring and mackerel which are to be found in the loch. However, rescuers, concerned that a loch so far from the open sea was not the natural habitat for such a creature, attempted to guide it out into Loch Linnhe and towards the ocean. Sadly, the whale died before they could achieve that aim. There seem to be more and more incidents like this involving whales; experts believe that we are to blame, that the whales are becoming disorientated due to man-made noise from shipping and other operations.
Map of the area.
© 2006 Jim Bain, via Wikimedia Commons