This is a stay aboard anchorage that offers protection from west to northwest up to force four anchored close in. Access requires attentive navigation as although vessels approaching from the east will find it clear of obstructions, all other directions require navigation around the Saltee Island's numerous outlying rocks, shoals and strong currents. The islands are however very workable in settled clear conditions and highly enjoyable.
Keyfacts for Little Saltee (east side)
Summary* Restrictions applyA stay-aboard location with attentive navigation required for access.
Position and approaches
Haven position52° 8.140' N, 006° 34.860' W
In the anchorage situated 100 metres off Little Saltee Island’s eastern shore about midway along the island.
What is the initial fix?
What are the key points of the approach?
Not what you need?
- Little Saltee (landing beach) - 0.3 miles NW
- Little Saltee (west side) - 0.3 miles W
- Great Saltee (landing beach) - 0.9 miles SW
- Gilert Bay - 1 miles SW
- Georgina’s Bay - 1.2 miles SW
- Kilmore Quay - 1.3 miles N
- Bannow Bay - 5.6 miles WNW
- Baginbun Bay - 5.8 miles WNW
- Carne - 5.9 miles ENE
- Fethard On Sea - 5.9 miles WNW
How to get in?
The Kilmore Quay entry provides approach directions for this haven.
Vessels approaching from the east need not cross Saint Patrick’s Bridge but instead head directly for the anchorage located immediately south of the midpoint of the island.
Vessels approaching from the initial fix can approach the anchorage ‘north around’ or ‘south around’ Little Saltee Island as preferred.
Those taking the ‘north around’ route should continue past the Kilmore Safe Water Marker and cross St. Patrick’s Bridge in the section marked by the seasonal buoys; it is unsafe to cross at any other point. Once through the pass continue east until the 10-metre contour has been reached before turning to starboard and progressing south. This keeps the approach path well clear of the southern section of St. Patrick’s bridge curving off Little Saltee’s northmost point. Then follow the eastern side of the Island to the anchorage where a distance off of 150 metres clears all dangers.
Those taking the ‘south around’ route, anticlockwise around the island and through Saltee Sound, should come south from the Kilmore Safe Water Marker towards the centre of Little Saltee Island. Then pass along the western side of Little Saltee keeping within the island’s 2 - 4 metre contours until the midpoint of the island. The unnamed Privateer Rock, clearly marked on the charts half a mile west of the centre of Little Saltee Island, has 3 metres of cover and should present no difficulty for leisure craft.
Image: Michael Harpur
At about the midpoint of Little Saltee Island, or when Goose Rock has been identified ahead, it is safe to come out from the island to approach the middle of Saltee Sound. Saltee Sound has depths in the fairway from 8 to 10 metres. However, it is reduced to a width of 600 metres between the foul ground extending west from Little Saltee and the Sebber Bridge that runs off from the north end of Great Saltee.
The dangers on the perimeter of the sound are Goose, Galgee and the aforementioned Sebbar Rocks. The Goose is a half-tide rock that dries to 2.6 metres, located 200 metres from the southwest point of Little Saltee. An off lying portion lying 15 metres to the southwest of Goose Rock just shows its head.
Goose Rock – position: 52° 08.042’N, 006° 35.546’W
Galgee Rock – position: 52° 07.869’N, 006° 35.228’W
Continue round Little Saltee Island anticlockwise, keeping well clear of Goose and Galgee on the southwest and southern points, to pass alongside the islands eastern side and approach the anchoring position just to the south of the midpoint of the island.
Why visit here?The Little Saltee Island Landing Beach entry provides island information.
From a boating perspective, this is another excellent Little Saltee Island lunch stop or tide wait location for those who do not want to commit to the time or expense of entering Kilmore Marina. It is also close enough to St. Patrick’s Bridge to observe the precise turn of the tide so as to maximise the route ‘eight hours of a following tide from Kilmore Quay; east or westbound’.
What facilities are available?There are no facilities on Little Saltee Island and this anchorage offers no landing capability. Immediately ashore Kilmore Quay has all facilities.
Any security concerns?Security issues are unheard of on the Saltee Islands. In fact if anything the reverse is more likely to be encountered. Local boatmen are very welcoming and you can take it that they will by good nature be keeping an eye on the welfare of your vessel, should she drag whilst you are ashore, and be ready to assist you.
With thanks to:Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks to Michael Harpur and Burke Corbett.
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