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Chapel Island

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Overview





Chapel and Jackdaw Islands are located on the northeast coast of Ireland within Strangford Lough and are the first islands encountered on the southern shore after exiting The Narrows. The island anchoring location is a deep tidal pool located between the uninhabited Chapel Island and the shore, around which the surrounding area dries so that it may only be accessed or exited at high water.

Chapel and Jackdaw Islands are located on the northeast coast of Ireland within Strangford Lough and are the first islands encountered on the southern shore after exiting The Narrows. The island anchoring location is a deep tidal pool located between the uninhabited Chapel Island and the shore, around which the surrounding area dries so that it may only be accessed or exited at high water.

Chapel Island is a good anchorage that is best used in settled weather. But if the wind were to come up from the northeast it would be exposed, and once entered a vessel has to await a sufficient rise over the surrounding drying area to exit. The pool required a sufficient rise for access but the Lough's enclosed body of water provides sheltered sailing in all weather, all tides and ample marks to make daylight navigation straightforward.



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Keyfacts for Chapel Island
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
November 7th 2022

Summary

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 23.035' N, 005° 35.646' W

This is in the centre of the tidal pool situated between Chapel Island and the mainland.

What is the initial fix?

The following Chapel Island & Jackdaw Islands Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 23.368' N, 005° 35.970' W
On the small 8.8 metre contour patch approximately 300 metres north of Chapel Island.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details for vessels approaching Strangford Lough from the north are available in northeast Ireland’s coastal overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the south are available in eastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Details of the approaches, tidal timings, the run up The Narrows and onward to Killyleagh, on the Lough's western shore, are covered in the Entering and exiting Strangford Lough Route location route description.


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 Chapel Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.2 nautical miles WNW
  2. Audley’s Point - 0.5 nautical miles E
  3. Jackdaw Island - 0.5 nautical miles W
  4. Audley's Roads - 1 nautical miles ESE
  5. Ballyhenry Bay - 1.1 nautical miles ENE
  6. Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 1.5 nautical miles ESE
  7. Portaferry - 1.6 nautical miles E
  8. Don O’Neill Island - 1.8 nautical miles NNW
  9. Salt Island (South) - 1.8 nautical miles WSW
  10. Brandy Bay (North Salt Island) - 2 nautical miles W
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.2 miles WNW
  2. Audley’s Point - 0.5 miles E
  3. Jackdaw Island - 0.5 miles W
  4. Audley's Roads - 1 miles ESE
  5. Ballyhenry Bay - 1.1 miles ENE
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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What's the story here?
Chapel Island as seen from the west
Image: Michael Harpur


The small uninhabited island of Chapel Island is the easternmost island on the southern shore of Strangford Lough. It lies 400 metres off the shoreline and is an almost circular islet that is about 180 metres wide. It rises, almost wedge-shaped to 12 metres at the highest point on its northwest end. The shoreline dries out to the island and out to about 25 metres from the shoreline of the island itself. The one exception is a deep pool that has 3.7 metres of water in it between the islet and the shoreline.


Chapel Island as seen from the channel between it and Jackdaw Island
Image: Michael Harpur


The deep pool offers a remarkable deep water anchorage that at low water can be virtually landlocked.


How to get in?
Chapel Island is the first islet on the southern shore about a mile from Audley's
Point

Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Details of the approaches, tidal timings, the run up The Narrows and onward to Killyleagh, on the Lough's western shore, are covered in the Entering and exiting Strangford Lough Route location route description. Chapel Island, on the south shore of the Lough, is a little under a mile northwestward of Audley Point.

The channel between Jackdaw Island and Chapel Island
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix, 300 metres north of Chapel Island, with a sufficient rise of the tide, proceed either west about or east about depending on conditions. MHWS are 3.6 metres here, MHWN 3.1 metres and MLWN 0.9 metres.


Chapel Island and its deep water pool between it and the shore
Image: Michael Harpur


The eastern approach to the pool has better water as it dries to 1.2 metres LAT whereas the western approach between Jackdaw Island and Chapel Island dries to 1.8 metres LAT. Expect a small counter-current that can reach up to two knots between the island and the shore.


Chapel Island's deep water pool
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Monitor the sounder to find the perimeter of the tidal pool which is about 150 metres wide. Anchor as central as possible to maximise the swing room. Holding is excellent in shale with some rock. Land on the island's gravelly shoreline.


Why visit here?
Chapel Island is of two Chapel Islands within Strangford Lough. The other is the more famous and larger of the uninhabited islands situated in the north end of Strangford Lough, about 700 metres off the west coast of the Ards Peninsula and 1.5 km west of the town of Greyabbey. This however was originally recorded in the 1656-1658 Down Survey of Ireland as Church Island only becoming Chapel Island in the 1835 Ordnance Survey 1st Edition. It acquired its name on account of the ruined early Christian/Medieval chapel, once attached to Movilla monastery of which today there are scant remains today.


The northwest end of the island provides a spectacular view out over the Lough
Image: Michael Harpur


Likewise, this must have been the case for this southern namesake island 8 miles south of it. But there are no traces of any chapel on this small island and any chapel could only have been a hermitage that monks would go to for meditation and seclusion. Such a hermitage would have been sustained by fish traps and shellfish and with some means of trapping freshwater to enable some short-term self-sufficiency.


The small island would only have been able to support a hermitage
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Chapel Island is part of the National Trust's fully controlled lease area from the Crown Estate Commission. The National Trust formed its Strangford Lough Wildlife Scheme in 1966 in response to the growing demands and pressures made by people on the natural resources of the Lough. It is committed to the protection of the Lough and surrounding area with an overall aim to help care for its wildlife, natural environment and historic interests.


Chapel Island is part of the National Trust's lease area from the Crown Estate
Commission

Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, this is an interesting anchoring experience. When at low water the vessel will be landlocked for a large amount of time. It is also an area with beautiful scenery with an interesting island to explore.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities on Chapel and Jackdaw Islands or in the surrounding area.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred at Chapel and Jackdaw Islands.


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades. eOceanic would like to thank Quoile Yacht Club External link for hosting our survey boat during the survey of Strangford Lough.



About Chapel Island

Chapel Island is of two Chapel Islands within Strangford Lough. The other is the more famous and larger of the uninhabited islands situated in the north end of Strangford Lough, about 700 metres off the west coast of the Ards Peninsula and 1.5 km west of the town of Greyabbey. This however was originally recorded in the 1656-1658 Down Survey of Ireland as Church Island only becoming Chapel Island in the 1835 Ordnance Survey 1st Edition. It acquired its name on account of the ruined early Christian/Medieval chapel, once attached to Movilla monastery of which today there are scant remains today.


The northwest end of the island provides a spectacular view out over the Lough
Image: Michael Harpur


Likewise, this must have been the case for this southern namesake island 8 miles south of it. But there are no traces of any chapel on this small island and any chapel could only have been a hermitage that monks would go to for meditation and seclusion. Such a hermitage would have been sustained by fish traps and shellfish and with some means of trapping freshwater to enable some short-term self-sufficiency.


The small island would only have been able to support a hermitage
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Chapel Island is part of the National Trust's fully controlled lease area from the Crown Estate Commission. The National Trust formed its Strangford Lough Wildlife Scheme in 1966 in response to the growing demands and pressures made by people on the natural resources of the Lough. It is committed to the protection of the Lough and surrounding area with an overall aim to help care for its wildlife, natural environment and historic interests.


Chapel Island is part of the National Trust's lease area from the Crown Estate
Commission

Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, this is an interesting anchoring experience. When at low water the vessel will be landlocked for a large amount of time. It is also an area with beautiful scenery with an interesting island to explore.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Audley’s Point - 0.3 miles E
Audley's Roads - 0.6 miles ESE
Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 0.9 miles ESE
Cross Roads - 1.7 miles SE
Kilclief Bay - 2.2 miles SE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.1 miles WNW
Jackdaw Island - 0.3 miles W
Salt Island (South) - 1.1 miles WSW
Brandy Bay (North Salt Island) - 1.2 miles W
Salt Island (Southwest) - 1.3 miles WSW

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Chapel Island.























A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


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Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.