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Portachurry

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Overview





Portachurry is a narrow rocky inlet situated on the south west corner of Inishtrahull Island that lies approximately six miles east of Ireland's northmost point Malin Head. In very settled conditions a temporary respite anchorage could be had here in the mouth of the inlet or a small boat could come alongside a small jetty at the head of the inlet.

Portachurry is a stay-aboard anchorage that only affords tenacious protection from northerly winds. It is however severely exposed to Atlantic swell and holding can be poor off the rocky inlet. Access requires careful navigation and good visibility as the surrounding inlet is fringed with rocks and the area is subject to strong currents, standing waves and tidal races.
Please note

The tides in Inishtrahull Sound reach up to 4 knots in springs and a whirlpool exists immediately offshore of Portmore. The entire area of Malin Head becomes uncomfortable in any conditions over force 4. This is acutely the case in wind-over-tide conditions that set up steep waves very quickly in Inishtrahull Sound. The area should be entirely avoided during wind-over-tide conditions with a north-westerly.




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Keyfacts for Portachurry
Facilities
Slipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsQuick and easy access from open water

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 3 or more from N, NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW, W, WNW, NW and NNW.Restriction: landing not recommended, possible or permitted hereNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
10 metres (32.81 feet).

Approaches
2 stars: Careful navigation; good visibility and conditions with dangers that require careful navigation.
Shelter
1 stars: Stay-aboard; lunch stop or tide-wait exposed or tenacious holding location where a vessel should not be left unattended.



Last modified
April 30th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A stay-aboard location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Slipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsQuick and easy access from open water

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 3 or more from N, NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW, W, WNW, NW and NNW.Restriction: landing not recommended, possible or permitted hereNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

55° 25.716' N, 007° 14.575' W

This is the approximate anchoring location off the mouth of the inlet on the southwest corner of the island.

What is the initial fix?

The following Portachurry Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
55° 25.600' N, 007° 14.786' W
It is 400 metres southwest of the bay and 600 metres south-southwest of the lighthouse. A bearing of 45°(T) from the initial fix will lead into the anchoring location.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the northeast Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location.

  • Vessels approaching from the east will find open water all the way to Inishtrahull and Portmore.

  • Vessels approaching from the west should avoid the Garvan Isles and will find it easier to round Inishtrahull's southern side.

  • Align a bearing of 227° T of the conspicuous red tripod crane situated on the Portmore quay and track into the cut.

  • Pass between the flanking outer rocks and continue up the centre of the cut.


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 Portachurry for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Portmore - 0.3 miles NE
  2. Malin Harbour or Slievebane Bay - 2.9 miles SW
  3. Culdaff Bay - 5.2 miles SSE
  4. Tremone Bay - 6.8 miles SSE
  5. Kinnagoe Bay - 8 miles SE
  6. Lenan Bay - 9.2 miles SW
  7. Portkill - 9.6 miles SE
  8. Portnocker - 10 miles SE
  9. Moville - 10 miles SSE
  10. Carrickarory Pier - 10 miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Portmore - 0.3 miles NE
  2. Malin Harbour or Slievebane Bay - 2.9 miles SW
  3. Culdaff Bay - 5.2 miles SSE
  4. Tremone Bay - 6.8 miles SSE
  5. Kinnagoe Bay - 8 miles SE
  6. Lenan Bay - 9.2 miles SW
  7. Portkill - 9.6 miles SE
  8. Portnocker - 10 miles SE
  9. Moville - 10 miles SSE
  10. Carrickarory Pier - 10 miles SSE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try our resources search

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?


Inishtrahull is situated off the north coast of Ireland three miles northwest of the outermost Garvan Isle across Inishtrahull Sound. It is nearly a mile long and is made up of two rounded hills joined by a stretch of low ground with a prominent lighthouse at its western end. Portachurry is a narrow rocky inlet situated on the south west corner of Inishtrahull Island under the lighthouse.


Convergance Point Approaches to the island are detailed in the islands primary berth of Portmore Click to view haven.


Initial fix location The Portachurry initial fix is 400 metres southwest of the bay and 600 metres south-southwest of Inishtrahull lighthouse on the summit of the hill that makes up the western side of the island. A bearing of 45° T from the initial fix will lead into the anchoring location. The southern shore of Inishtrahull is steep to, free of off lying dangers and can be approached as close as 100 metres.
Please note

The stream through Inishtrahull Sound on the south side of the island runs at full strength within thirty metres to the southwest of Portachurry. A three hundred metre wide race guards the entrance to Portachurry during the entire ebb where standing waves are frequently seen.



The final few metres require keen eyeball navigation and close observation to stay clear of drying rocks fringing the shore whilst finding an anchoring location.




Haven location Anchor in 10 or 11 metres in the mouth of the inlet. The narrow southwest facing inlet leads to a jetty with 1.5 metres, and a slip and steps. Landing here is not recommended as it will most likely be exposed to Atlantic swell.


Why visit here?
Portachurry in Gaelic means ‘Currach Harbour’ which aptly describes the rocky inlet. The gut has provided a dramatically less attractive but nonetheless alternative landing place for islanders over the centuries. The southwest facing inlet has a jetty, steps and a slip, but landing here is said to be a problem. It is exposed to the Atlantic swell and as such it is not recommended.

A better anchorage, along with details on Inishtrahull Island, can be found in the island’s primary berth of Portmore Click to view haven. However in very settled conditions or light northerlies, in the absence of swell, Portachurry could provide an option to drop off a shore party or a temporary small boat berth. Likewise the anchorage in the mouth of the bay could prove convenient for crews looking for respite from northerlies, a lunch stop or tide wait location when Portmore may not be used.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities on Inishtrahull and landing is not recommended at Portachurry as the location is subject to swell.


Any security concerns?
This is a stay-aboard anchorage where it would be unsafe to leave a vessel unattended. This aside, never an issue is known to have occurred to a vessel anchored in this isolated location of the uninhabited Inishtrahull.


With thanks to:
Bill McCann, Londonderry Harbour Master. Photography with thanks to Margaretincarn and Arnold Price.


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










The following videos may be useful to help first time visitors familiarise themselves with Inishtrahull.


This video presents a Sea Kayaking visit to Inishtrahull's south-western corner.




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.