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Annalong Harbour

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Overview





Annalong Harbour is located on the northeastern coast of Ireland at the mouth of the Annalong River, approximately eight miles northeast of the entrance to Carlingford Lough. It is a small tidal harbour used by fishing boats that have a pontoon for pleasure craft. Annalong Harbour is small, space-constrained and subject to silting. It is, therefore, best suited to medium to small shallow draft vessels but larger vessels can anchor outside in settled conditions.

The harbour offers good protection except in strong onshore winds where there can be a surge when the storm boards are open. Access to the harbour and its inner basin is straightforward, but within the harbour, there are space and tide constraints.
Please note

A vessel should not approach Annalong Harbour in any developed onshore conditions.




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Keyfacts for Annalong Harbour
Facilities
Water available via tapMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 4 or more from NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periods

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
1 metres (3.28 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 4 or more from NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periods



HM  +44 773 9527036      Ch.12, 14
Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 6.470' N, 005° 53.661' W

At the position of the light OC. WRG. 5s 8m 9M

What is the initial fix?

The following Annalong Harbour Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 6.485' N, 005° 52.847' W
Half a mile east of the harbour entrance, in the middle of the white light sector.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location.

  • Contact the harbour master to ascertain current depths.

  • Approach the harbour from east with the south wall of the pier and channel just open.

  • Swing hard to port to enter the basin.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Annalong Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Kilkeel Harbour - 2.8 miles SW
  2. Newcastle Harbour - 3.4 miles N
  3. Greencastle - 5.2 miles WSW
  4. Dundrum Harbour - 5.6 miles NNE
  5. Killowen - 6.6 miles W
  6. Carlingford Harbour - 6.7 miles WSW
  7. Rostrevor - 6.7 miles W
  8. Carlingford Marina - 6.8 miles WSW
  9. Greer’s Quay - 7.5 miles W
  10. Killough Harbour - 7.8 miles NE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kilkeel Harbour - 2.8 miles SW
  2. Newcastle Harbour - 3.4 miles N
  3. Greencastle - 5.2 miles WSW
  4. Dundrum Harbour - 5.6 miles NNE
  5. Killowen - 6.6 miles W
  6. Carlingford Harbour - 6.7 miles WSW
  7. Rostrevor - 6.7 miles W
  8. Carlingford Marina - 6.8 miles WSW
  9. Greer’s Quay - 7.5 miles W
  10. Killough Harbour - 7.8 miles NE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
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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How to get in?


Annalong is a small town and harbour at the mouth of the Annalong River that hosts several small boats. The harbour consists of a drying inner basin accessed and protected by an outer channel that is enclosed by a pier extending south from the northern shore. The river exits to the sea through this outer channel and to the north of a further eastward projecting breakwater off the northeastern seaward corner of the basin, that protects the mouth of the outer harbour.

Annalong is tidal, space constrained and only suitable for vessels of less than 10 metres; ideally, shallow draft vessels that can take to the hard. Anything larger will find it difficult to manoeuvre within its tight turns and confines. The approach channel has 0.1 to 0.3 metres and the basin dries to very soft mud. Nevertheless, at half tide, a depth of more than 2 metres can be found throughout. There is a pontoon set into the southeast corner of the basin that can have as much as 2.6 metres LWS alongside and/or very soft surrounding mud.


However, the harbour is subject to silting and only occasionally dredged. Dredging can be subject to the local council’s fiscal constraints so depths may vary and it would be best to appraise the conditions as they are experienced at the time of the visit, or contact the HM in advance M: +44 773 952 7036.


Vessels of a draft of 1.5 metres, or more, should not enter the harbour until at least 2 hours after low water. Larger vessels will be better off planning to anchor off outside in settled conditions.


The offshore approaches are largely clear with no outlying dangers existing 150 metres off the shoreline or within soundings of 5 metres or above.




Initial fix location From the Annalong Harbour initial fix, track into the harbour from the east. On closer approach, the short breakwater will be seen extending seaward from the northeast corner of the basin. A light stands at the head of the breakwater. Three red vertical lights are illuminated if the harbours surge gate is closed.



On closer approaches, from about 200 metres offshore, keep the north face of the breakwater wall just open to avoid the rocky shores north and south of the entrance.

Slowly pass along as close as possible to the north of the breakwater and then the basin wall’s outer, or north face. Continue along to the inner basin’s entrance where there is a little more space. The basin is entered through a narrow 9-metre wide entrance gap at the basin’s northern end. This requires a hard swing to port turning the vessel due south to enter.




Haven location Once inside the inner harbour basin, 90 metres long and 25 metres wide, double back along the northwestern wall to the 20-metre long pontoon in the southeastern corner. Elsewhere the harbour dries, making it more suitable for vessels that can take to the hard.






Why visit here?
Annalong's name is thought to have been derived from the Irish Áth na Long meaning "ford of the ships". This dates back to raiding Viking longboats. In the early Christian period, the raiders would have been able to shelter in the slot formed by the river mouth where the harbour exists today.

The current harbour dates back to the early 1800s and was built to support the exportation of dressed Mourne Mountain granite. Local masons built up such expertise that in time different types of granite were imported to be cut and polished in Annalong. Consequently, the harbour was enlarged to receive schooners carrying granite back and forth to English cities. The harbour was also used to import materials for the construction of the nearby Silent Valley Reservoir that was built between 1904 and 1922 by the Belfast Water Commissioners. The reservoir was built to gather water from the Mourne Mountains and includes the construction of the famous Mourne Wall. The wall was created to enclose the water catchment areas for reservoirs. It runs for more than 35 KM (22 miles), with an average width of 0.8 to 0.9 metres and a height of 1.5 metres. The wall was entirely crafted from natural granite stone using traditional dry stone walling techniques. Passing over fifteen of the Mourne's summits and taking 18 years to build it is an engineering phenomenon in itself. A purpose built standard-gauge railway was built from Annalong to the dam to transport the reservoir’s construction material. Today the reservoir is the main water supply source for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast.

But this was a dangerous coast for vessels to approach as is indicated by the construction of the coastguard house and rocket tower situated on the Kilkeel side of Annalong. In its day the tower housed the pigeons which were used as couriers between the coastguard stations. The garage housed a rocket launcher which fired ropes to boats which ran aground during the 18th and 19th centuries. A terrible sea tragedy occurred here in January 1843 when a fleet of 16 small fishing boats from Annalong and Newcastle were caught in a gale. 14 boats were lost in the heavy seas including a boat which had gone to the rescue. Only two boats survived and 76 men perished, 30 of whom were from Annalong. Today, despite being derelict, the rocket tower is a listed building and it is believed to be the only rocket station remaining in Ireland.

One of the key attractions is the old and highly picturesque corn mill on the quayside. Built in the early 1800s and operated until the 1960's, the complex contains a grain-drying kiln and three pairs of millstones. Utilising technology two centuries old, it is powered by a wood and iron breast water wheel 4.3 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres wide plus a 1920's Marshall 'hot-bulb' 20hp engine. When operations ceased in the 1960s the mill was abandoned and fell into disrepair. It was acquired in 1983 by Newry and Mourne District Council, who restored and reopened it to the public in 1985. It also contains an exhibition on windmills and waterpower, and features a guided tour, and is now one of Ulster's last working watermills and a major attraction. Visitors can see the production of flour and oatmeal and grind their own corn or have a browse at the exhibition on milling.

Today Annalong is a picturesque and secure harbour situated at the foot of the awe-inspiring Mourne Mountains. With the mill, plus many old cottages and houses in the harbour area, Annalong is a worthy visit for any coastal touring boatman.


What facilities are available?
The town of Annalong lies mostly south of the harbour and has a population of almost 2,000. Hence almost all basic provisions and necessities are immediately available including a post office and fuel. There is also a pub overlooking the harbour aptly named the 'Harbour Inn'. Electricity and fresh water are available at the pontoon and showers are nearby. There is a small launching slip 200 metres north of the harbour.


Any security concerns?
Annalong Quay has a security gate.


With thanks to:
Thomas Cunningham - Harbour Master for ‘Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission’. Photography with thanks to Erick Jones, Donal Tinneny,A_K_M, Andrew Spenseley, Rossographer, Albert Bridge, Ardfern, Harry Clark, P Flanagan and Ryan McDonald.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.
































































































A film of Spegla Dam, Kilkeel, Annalong at 5minutes 15 seconds in and Newcastle.




A short view of the harbour.




Annalong harbour at low water



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