We welcomed the morning onboard National Geographic Explorer, sailing our way to the island of Iona. Soon enough, we realised that the weather was not in our favour. Winds of over 40 kn forced us to cancel our plans of landing on the island. Instead, the bridge and expedition team decided to go straight to Staffa. They circumnavigated the island while the naturalists onboard explained the beautiful geology of this iconic island of the Inner Hebrides. During the second half of the morning, Steve gave a comprehensive lecture on the military history of Scapa Flow in anticipation of our visit to Orkney in a couple of days. After lunch, our undersea specialist Emmett talked about some of the amazing sea creatures that live in this region.

As we made our way north cruising along these islands, Carol gave us an interesting overview of the archaeology and history of St. Kilda–the westernmost island of the Outer Hebrides. She talked about the island’s people and its importance and significance as a World Heritage Site. The weather smiled at us again as we sailed amongst this beautiful archipelago, and we enjoyed sightings of auks, northern fulmars, and gannets.