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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. These are the first islands to be reached sailing west out of Strangford Lough’s Narrows. The location is a tidal pool anchorage located between the uninhabited Chapel Island and the shore, around which the surrounding area entirely dries so that it may only be accessed at high water.

Chapel and Jackdaw Islands are located on the northeast coast of Ireland within Strangford Lough. These are the first islands to be reached sailing west out of Strangford Lough’s Narrows. The location is a tidal pool anchorage located between the uninhabited Chapel Island and the shore, around which the surrounding area entirely dries so that it may only be accessed at high water.

Chapel Island is a good anchorage that is best used in settled weather. If the wind came up from the northeast it would be exposed, and once entered a vessel is trapped until the tide rises over the surrounding drying area to the required draft. The enclosed stretch of water provides shelter sailing in all weather, all tides and has ample marks to make daylight navigation straightforward.



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Keyfacts for Chapel Island



Last modified
July 18th 2018

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° 23.033' N, 005° 35.645' W

In a tidal hole that resides 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 the 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 and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ mile below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location.


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 miles WNW
  2. West of Jackdaw Island - 0.3 miles W
  3. Audley’s Point - 0.3 miles E
  4. Audley's Roads - 0.6 miles ESE
  5. Ballyhenry Bay - 0.7 miles ENE
  6. Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 1 miles ESE
  7. Portaferry - 1 miles E
  8. Don O’Neill Island - 1.1 miles NNW
  9. South of Salt Island - 1.1 miles WSW
  10. Brandy Bay - 1.2 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. West of Jackdaw Island - 0.3 miles W
  3. Audley’s Point - 0.3 miles E
  4. Audley's Roads - 0.6 miles ESE
  5. Ballyhenry Bay - 0.7 miles ENE
  6. Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 1 miles ESE
  7. Portaferry - 1 miles E
  8. Don O’Neill Island - 1.1 miles NNW
  9. South of Salt Island - 1.1 miles WSW
  10. Brandy Bay - 1.2 miles W
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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How to get in?


Convergance Point Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location route description.

Having entered Strangford Lough make for the Chapel Island & Jackdaw Islands Initial Fix. This places you 300 metres north of Chapel Island where you will require a high tide to access the tidal pool. At high water proceed either west about or east about depending on the prevailing winds. Between the Island and the shore, you can expect a small counter-current that can reach up to two knots.

Haven location Monitor the depth finder to find the tidal home and drop the anchor. You will find good holding in shale with some rock.


Why visit here?
This is an interesting anchoring experience where at low water the vessel will be landlocked for a large amount of time. It is also an area with beautiful scenery and an interesting island to explore.

Chapel Island is owned by the National Trust and is one of the larger uninhabited islands in Strangford Lough. The island provides for excellent walks and the National Trust organises a low water guided trek across the mudflats from the shore to Chapel Island.

The drying window is long enough to get to the island to enjoy a good island walk before the tide returns. However such mudflat walks require an experienced guide as there are treacherous muddy patches under the sand, and without experience one may stumble into them and get stuck. Should one find oneself knee-deep in immovable Strangford mud, the best advice is to fall down backwards and move your arms in a backstroke fashion – successful extrication may require the sacrifice of a pair of boots.

Landing on the island is recommended, where walkers will find a bank that rises at the islands northern tip and runs like a spine up to a small plateau at the southern end. Perched on the highest part of the island, with commanding views in all directions, a visitor will find the scattered remains of a pre-Norman period chapel that most likely has given the island its name.

The chapel would be best described as a hermitage that monks would go to for meditation and seclusion. Chapel Island is the ideal location for such a hermitage offering ample food via fish traps and shellfish, plus a freshwater source that enabled self-sufficiency along with island isolation. Two similar sites are to be found on Dunsy Island and near Audleystown. Today the hermitage on Chapel Island is difficult to identify, and what remains is covered by grass and an impenetrable mound of briars surrounded by a scarcely discernable enclosure. What is impressive, however, is the view to the south over the Mournes from this elevated part of the island.


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.






About Chapel Island

This is an interesting anchoring experience where at low water the vessel will be landlocked for a large amount of time. It is also an area with beautiful scenery and an interesting island to explore.

Chapel Island is owned by the National Trust and is one of the larger uninhabited islands in Strangford Lough. The island provides for excellent walks and the National Trust organises a low water guided trek across the mudflats from the shore to Chapel Island.

The drying window is long enough to get to the island to enjoy a good island walk before the tide returns. However such mudflat walks require an experienced guide as there are treacherous muddy patches under the sand, and without experience one may stumble into them and get stuck. Should one find oneself knee-deep in immovable Strangford mud, the best advice is to fall down backwards and move your arms in a backstroke fashion – successful extrication may require the sacrifice of a pair of boots.

Landing on the island is recommended, where walkers will find a bank that rises at the islands northern tip and runs like a spine up to a small plateau at the southern end. Perched on the highest part of the island, with commanding views in all directions, a visitor will find the scattered remains of a pre-Norman period chapel that most likely has given the island its name.

The chapel would be best described as a hermitage that monks would go to for meditation and seclusion. Chapel Island is the ideal location for such a hermitage offering ample food via fish traps and shellfish, plus a freshwater source that enabled self-sufficiency along with island isolation. Two similar sites are to be found on Dunsy Island and near Audleystown. Today the hermitage on Chapel Island is difficult to identify, and what remains is covered by grass and an impenetrable mound of briars surrounded by a scarcely discernable enclosure. What is impressive, however, is the view to the south over the Mournes from this elevated part of the island.

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) - 1 miles ESE
Cross Roads - 1.7 miles SE
Kilclief Bay - 2.2 miles SE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.2 miles WNW
West of Jackdaw Island - 0.3 miles W
South of Salt Island - 1.1 miles WSW
Brandy Bay - 1.2 miles W
Between Rat & Salt Island - 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.