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The Gairloch Chandlery, Pier Road, Gairloch, Wester Ross, Scotland

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Formed in 1996, we are a small, friendly company using the skill and expertise of our people to give you the best possible wildlife expereince.

Nick Davies

Nick Davies

Head of Hebridean Whale Cruises and Skipper of Orca 1.

Nick is amongst the most experienced seafarers in Gairloch and is an authority on the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc.) found off the west coast of Scotland.

He has sailed the North Minch for 19 years, using his extensive local knowledge of these Hebridean waters to search for and record sightings of cetaceans and other marine species. He was a consultant to the BBC's world-renowned Natural History Unit when they were filming in the Gairloch area.

A researching marine zoologist, Nick is studying the behaviour of cetaceans in the presence of vessels offshore. He has worked with the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrew's University, and Aberdeen University's long-term research project on Bottlenose Dolphin Ecology.

Committed to the conservation of marine wildlife, Nick was invited to participate in the development of the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code, launched in 2006 by the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage.

An expert birder, he has worked with the RSPB and the Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University in the United States. He has a comprehensive knowledge of the pelagic birds (birds of the open sea) found off Scotland's west coast.

Widely travelled, Nick has tracked and studied wildlife on every continent of the world except Antarctica (that's still to come!).

Strav McDonagh

Strav McDonagh

Our second Skipper, who joined us in 2008.

Based at nearby Loch Ewe, Strav is amongst the most experienced Skippers in the area.

He has sailed the waters of the Minch for 19 years and holds the MCA Boatmaster's Licence, endorsed for commercial vessels.

He works part-time for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as a Coastguard Rescue Officer, directing search and rescue operations in the Loch Ewe and Altbea area of Wester Ross.

Strav is a keen birder and expert marine wildlife guide.

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Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code

We are proud to have participated in the development of the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code (SMWWC) – the first government endorsed code of its kind in the UK.


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