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Simmy Island

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Overview





Simmy Island is located on Strangford Lough’s western shore north of Killyleagh, on the northeast coast of Ireland. It is an anchorage to the north of Taggart Island in a quiet and particularly picturesque location.

It is a good anchorage offering protection from any quarter except with an easterly component when it would become uncomfortable. 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 Simmy Island
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic 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
July 18th 2018

Summary

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic 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° 25.560' N, 005° 38.000' W

In the centre of the anchorage in a depth of approximately two metres.

What is the initial fix?

The following Holm Bay Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 25.280' N, 005° 35.870' W
Approximately 200 metres northeast of the Limestone Rock beacon Q.R.3M. A bearing of 280° will take a vessel into Simmy Bay from here.


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 Simmy Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. East Down Yacht Club - 0.5 miles SSW
  2. Pawle Island - 0.6 miles NNE
  3. Don O’Neill Island - 0.6 miles SSE
  4. Holm Bay - 0.7 miles S
  5. Ringhaddy Sound - 0.9 miles N
  6. Killyleagh - 1.1 miles SSW
  7. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 1.7 miles SSE
  8. West of Jackdaw Island - 1.7 miles SSE
  9. Chapel Island - 1.8 miles SSE
  10. Brandy Bay - 1.8 miles SSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. East Down Yacht Club - 0.5 miles SSW
  2. Pawle Island - 0.6 miles NNE
  3. Don O’Neill Island - 0.6 miles SSE
  4. Holm Bay - 0.7 miles S
  5. Ringhaddy Sound - 0.9 miles N
  6. Killyleagh - 1.1 miles SSW
  7. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 1.7 miles SSE
  8. West of Jackdaw Island - 1.7 miles SSE
  9. Chapel Island - 1.8 miles SSE
  10. Brandy Bay - 1.8 miles SSW
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?
Simmy Island is located on the western shore of Strangford Lough, 3½ miles north-west of the Narrows. The island, perhaps best described as a peninsula, is privately owned by one of Northern Ireland's most prominent hoteliers. It is exceptionally picturesque anchorage, overlooking the National Trust's Island Taggart several hundred yards off-shore.

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.

After entering Strangford Lough proceed up the deep waters of the eastern side to the Simmy Island Initial Fix. This is situated approximately 200 metres northeast of the Limestone Rock beacon Q.R.3M. From the initial fix, it is just over a mile to the anchorage on an approximate bearing of 280° T.

Haven location Aim for the centre of the anchorage, but prefer the south side where there is less rock adjacent to the north end of Taggart Island, and feel your way into a suitable depth. You will find very good mud holding with scattered boulders.


Why visit here?
Simmy Island (Irish: Oileán Siomaí, is likely to be Irish in origin but its meaning is not clear) is almost a peninsula.

The location is both exceptionally picturesque and very quiet so you can expect to have the bay entirely to yourself. The wooded headland to the north is what you would imagine Canada to look like more than Northern Ireland, and it makes the location a wonderful hideout.

The anchorage also overlooks Island Taggart immediately to the south. Island Taggart is one of the largest islands in the Lough and is owned by the National Trust. In the past, it supported two small farms and these are preserved for visitors. Much of the filming of ‘December Bride’ took place on Island Taggart in the early 1990s particularly the Echlin farmhouse. The movie was based on Sam Hanna Bell's 1950s novel describing a tight-knit Presbyterian community in turn-of-the-century Northern Ireland. It is a remarkable story of passion and politics set against a rural backdrop.

A host of wildlife such as badgers, foxes and otters reside now on Taggart, and camping is also permitted.


What facilities are available?
None, this is a secluded bay with no resources.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred at Simmy Island.


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades. Photography with thanks to Bob Jones.


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






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