A boat trip in the Minch is always fun and with recent reports of Orcas and Sabines' gulls to whet the appetite I jumped at the chance of a place on the Hebridean whale cruise 'Orca 1'- a large fast RIB designed to cover big distances at speed. The weather and sea conditions were ideal- flat calm with good visibility although the light was very flat due to the hazy conditions. Within 15 minutes of setting sail we were surrounded by a pod of circa 500 common dolphins that obligingly played around the vessel providing outstanding views. A short while later we watched a minke whale- the first of 5 encountered during our trip. Harbour porpoises seemed to be every where. Birds were not as abundant as I had hoped but we recorded sooty shearwaters, manx shearwaters, an arctic skua, a possible long-tailed skua and 3 pomarine skuas. Great skuas were abundant as were over 50 storm petrels. Unfortunately no orcas or Sabs. were seen but we also saw a pair of bonus white-tailed eagles on the return leg and a flock of 28 black-throated divers.