Sea kayaking is a great way to view wildlife. Otters are one of the highlights of sea kayak trips and are more common than you think, but they are timid and definitely need either tactics or luck to see them.
It always surprises me how much more you see when you head out on your own and keep your eyes open for wildlife. Last Monday I went for a little paddle on Loch Linnhe, getting on the water opposite Eilean Shuna and paddling down to Appin rocks and back.
Loch Linnhe is a stunning place to paddle and in the winter it’s often quiet and sheltered. There’s a great contrast on the loch, both in the sea state encountered and the scenery; surrounded by high mountains at the north end these give way to the rolling hills and woodland around Appin to the South. The sea can be rough or fast flowing around the many tidal narrows or flat calm in the lee of the islands and headlands.
I paddled between the islands just north of Lismore and let my kayak drift with the weak tidal flow, because I was still I drifted right past two Otters, just metres from them. A mother and a cub as far as I could tell, feeding on fish as the Lismore ferry chugged past.