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Northeast of Great Island

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Overview





Great Island is situated on the south coast of Ireland within Cork’s extensive natural harbour. The island is the largest in Cork Harbours and this anchorage is located off its north eastern corner. The haven offers a remote anchorage in beautiful rural surroundings.

Being both in the upper harbour and up-river the anchorage offers complete protection from all conditions. A vessel could be left unattended here all year but when staying aboard it can get a little uncomfortable in a strong north-westerly. In these circumstances better protection can be had by moving a short distance and re-anchoring off the north mainland shore. Safe access is assured in all reasonable conditions by Cork Harbour, one of the most easily approached, well-marked and safest natural harbours in the world.
Please note

The run up to this anchorage is about seven miles from the entrance. Passage tides will be a prime consideration as they attain 3 kn on springs and the trip is best avoided on the ebb with a strong south-easterly. A capable tender and outboard will be required as the best landing positions are a good distance from the anchoring location. Although very well marked for night navigation, owing to Cobh’s lights and the vast amount of markers in the lower harbour area, first time visitors should prefer a day entry as it may prove challenging at night.




1 comment
Keyfacts for Northeast of Great Island
HM  +353 21 4273125      info@portofcork.ie      Ch.12, 14, 16
Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Note: could be two hours or more from the main waterways


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landing
Facilities
(None)


Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

LWS draught

3 metres (9.84 feet).

Today's tide estimates

LW 01:12 (0.3m) HW 07:00 (4.2m)
LW 13:29 (0.2m) HW 19:19 (4.2m)
We are now on Springs

Swell today




Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Note: could be two hours or more from the main waterways


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landing
Facilities
(None)


Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 52.780' N, 008° 12.230' W

This is the position that provides the best protection from prevailing winds.


What is the initial fix?

The following Cork Harbour initial will set up a final approach:
51° 46.580' N, 008° 15.460' W
This waypoint is a mile out from the entrance and near the Outflow Marker Fl(Y) 20s. It is set on the alignment of 354° (T) of the Dogsnose leading lights that are situated on the east side of Cork Harbour entrance. This waypoint sets up an east channel approach but a vessel may alter course to and enter via the west channel.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore and approach details are available in the westbound Rosslare to Cork Harbour Route location or eastbound Mizen Head to Cork Harbour Route location sequence. The run up to the East Channel is best described in the East Ferry Marina Click to view haven entry.


Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Northeast of Great Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. East Ferry Marina - 0.5 miles SSW
  2. Aghada - 1.3 miles S
  3. Cuskinny - 1.7 miles SW
  4. Cobh - 2.4 miles WSW
  5. Spike Island - 2.5 miles SW
  6. White Bay - 3 miles SSW
  7. Glenbrook - 3 miles WSW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 3.2 miles WSW
  9. Crosshaven - 3.5 miles SW
  10. Drake’s Pool - 4.1 miles SW
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. East Ferry Marina - 0.5 miles SSW
  2. Aghada - 1.3 miles S
  3. Cuskinny - 1.7 miles SW
  4. Cobh - 2.4 miles WSW
  5. Spike Island - 2.5 miles SW
  6. White Bay - 3 miles SSW
  7. Glenbrook - 3 miles WSW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 3.2 miles WSW
  9. Crosshaven - 3.5 miles SW
  10. Drake’s Pool - 4.1 miles SW
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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Great Island lies in Cork Harbour, just outside Cork City at the mouth of the River Lee. The island divides the harbour into Lower and Upper Harbours and is home to the town of Cobh. The anchorage is in a rural setting in Upper Harbour, between Great Island and the mainland to the north, and accessed via East Passage.

Convergance Point The run up to the upper harbour via East Passage, the channel between Great Island on the west and the mainland shore on the east, is best described in the East Ferry Marina Click to view havenentry. From East Ferry Marina the East Channel continues north with pleasant wooded shorelines fringed by many moorings off each shoreline.


A jetty fronting the stately Belgrove House will be seen about half a mile beyond the marina. Two towers, Trafalgar Tower alongside the house and Waterloo Tower set behind on the side of Bagwell Hill, both marked on the Admiralty 1773, will also be seen. Immediately beyond Belgrove House a power cable spans the East Passage. This is very high and with a safe overhead clearance of 24 metres it presents little issue to leisure craft. A further half a mile takes a vessel out the north end of the East Passage.

Haven locationThe suggested anchoring area is just off the northeast corner of Great Island as it provides deep water protection from the prevailing winds and it is frequently used by local boats. Depths of 3 to 8 metres will be found here close to the shore with excellent mud holding.

An anchorage can be obtained virtually anywhere in the deep water area that is situated outside the north end of the East Passage, making it possible to anchor anywhere in this area. In northerly conditions the holding will be found to be very good to the southwest of Ahenesk House on the mainland shore. However, as can be seen on the Admiralty chart 1773, move east or west from this deep water area and what appears to be a large expanse of water at high tide quickly turns into shallows or drying areas on a low tide.

This tendency to dry to mud is the single issue with this anchoring location. All immediate landing areas dry and the best place to come ashore is at East Ferry Marina or alongside East Ferry Pier on the east side of the channel. This is a distance in excess of half a mile, and with the tides that are present in the East Passage it requires a stalwart dinghy and outboard.


What's the story here?
The name Great Island, is a shortening of the Irish name Oileán Móran Barraigh meaning "Great island of the Barrys". The latter referred to the powerful Barry family who occupied and settled the area during Norman times. Prior to their arrival the island was called Oilean Ard na Neimheadh meaning the "High, as in status, island of Neimheadh" in deference to Neimheadh a legendary leader who invaded Ireland in ancient times.

Scarcely featuring in sailing circles today this haven is a not only a beautiful location but a perfectly secure anchorage. This was not the case in the past when it was well recognised and extensively used by ships of all types.

The Trafalgar and Waterloo Towers, seen on approach, speak of a Naval history when Nelson used this anchorage to safely berth his warships. In the following centuries it was extensively used as wait location for schooners carrying cargoes of up to 300 tonnes of coal, timber, iron and slate plus later on flax for the linen industry, to be loaded and unloaded at Ballynacorra. At the time Ballynacorra, in Irish Baile na Cora meaning "Town of the Weir", served as the port for the town of Midleton situated less than 2 km to the north of the quays. The small port closed in 1962 as it was deemed too expensive to dredge the growing levels of river silt at the entrance, and the channel is extremely shallow today. Today this presents an interesting opportunity for vessels anchored in this haven, as a visit to Midleton is not only useful for shopping but provides for a very interesting day out.

Midleton, historically Middleton, acquired its name from being the midway town, 10 miles each way, between Cork and Youghal. It is a pleasant market town with many grey stone buildings dating mainly from the early 19th century. Today a satellite town of Cork City, it is most famous for its school, Midleton College, founded in 1696 and its distillery that produces some of the world’s favourite Irish whiskey.

The word "whiskey" is derived from the Irish language. It is an anglicisation of the Irish phrase ‘Uisce beatha’ meaning "the water of life". This was the name given to it by Irish monks of the early Middle Ages; itself a direct translation of the Latin ‘aqua vitae’. The English name stemming from a mispronunciation of the word ‘Uisce’ and this may in turn have influenced the modern Irish word for whiskey that is ‘fuisce’. Whatever the case, anyone who is ‘fond of a drop’ will find a visit to Midleton more than enlightening. Cork Distilleries, formed in 1825, merged into Irish Distillers in 1967, and as of 2011 owned by French spirits group Pernod Ricard, has its distilleries here. It produces ‘Paddy Whiskey’, taking its name from Patrick J Flaherty a salesman for Cork Distilleries in the 1920s, and the world famous ‘Jameson Whiskey’. Alongside these they distil other branded vodka and gin products at the new Midleton distillery complex that was opened in 1975.

The Old Midleton Distillery hosts frequent ‘Jameson Experience’ tours throughout the day. These guided tours show how whiskey was made in the past and the old stone building has many examples of 19th century industrial architecture including an impressive fully functional waterwheel. The site also boasts the world’s largest pot still, a copper dome with a capacity of 140,000 litres. At the outset of the tours an appeal is normally made for a "whiskey taster", so those who are interested should be ready to step forward. If you are not selected a complimentary glass of Jameson's Irish whiskey is always made available at the end of the tour.

In addition to these attractions Midleton also has excellent shopping and a very popular farmers' market on Saturdays at the old site of Midleton Mart, now called Market Green. So a mixture of pleasure and purpose can be had here.

A tender or shallow draft vessel, or indeed vessels that can take to the hard, may stay over to visit this interesting town by riding a flood tide up the 2.5 miles of river from this haven. This is very easily achieved as the southern end of the River Owenacurra, in Irish Abhainn na Cora meaning "River of the Weirs", is marked with occasional white buoys and the final lengths between the central path between pronounced winding banks. On final approach the warehouses on the east bank at the old port of Ballynacorra will be seen converted into modern housing called the ‘Charleston Wharf’ and a vessel can come alongside a slip just beyond these close to the quays. A short walk beyond this is Midleton. If tide times are inconvenient Midleton is likewise only a 7km bicycle ride from the East ferry pier.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities in this secluded rural setting. However 2.5 miles upriver on a rising tide, or 7 km by road from the East Ferry pier, is the important town of Midleton were excellent shopping may be obtained. Catering for a rural population of 26,500 it has a choice of supermarkets and a host of other shops. There is a popular farmers' market on Market Green on Saturdays. For everything else there are bus connections to Cork or other berthing destinations such as Crosshaven where a concentration of boat services and facilities may be had.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off the northeast corner of Great Island.


With thanks to:
Eddie English, Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner Dinghy & Powerboat Trainer at sailcork.com. Photographs with thanks to Maenne,Johnny9999, sunflower, Jim Woodward-Nutt, Megan R Marks, A McCarron and John Finn.


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The above plots are not precise and indicative only.


















This very useful aerial overview of Cork Harbour is highly recommended for first time visitors to familiarise themselves with Cork Harbour:





Add your review or comment:


Rodolphe Thimonier wrote this review on Jun 16th 2016:

Nice anchorage with good holding in mud/silt and subject to tidal currents. Yet I dont recommend going farther west than the mooring buoys of local boats and the longitude of 8 12.4W as there is old uncharted and unmarked aquaculture gear that is only revealed at low water.

Average Rating: ****

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