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Little Saltee (east side)

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The Saltee Islands are two small islands that are situated off the southeast corner of Ireland, approximately half way between Hook Head and Carnsore Point. This is a secluded anchorage on the east side of Little Saltee Island, the smaller and northernmost of the two islands.

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.
Please note

Currents can attain speeds of 3.4 knots on springs in this area. Those planning to explore these waters should have the benefit of a good plotter, or large scale charts, and a reliable engine.

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Keyfacts for Little Saltee (east side)
None listed

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Restriction: landing not recommended, possible or permitted here

Protected sectors

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

3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
1 stars: Stay-aboard; lunch stop or tide-wait exposed or tenacious holding location where a vessel should not be left unattended.

Last modified
May 29th 2020

Summary* Restrictions apply

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

None listed

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Restriction: landing not recommended, possible or permitted here

Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 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?

The following Kilmore Quay initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 9.200' N, 006° 35.300' W
This waypoint is Kilmore Quay’s safe water marker, a red and white buoy with a long white flash (Iso 10s). The buoy is positioned between Kilmore Quay and Little Saltee Island.

What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details and specific notes for the Saltee Islands are available in southeastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location. The Kilmore Quay Click to view haven entry provides approach directions for this haven.

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 Little Saltee (east side) for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Little Saltee (landing beach) - 0.3 miles NW
  2. Little Saltee (west side) - 0.3 miles W
  3. Great Saltee (landing beach) - 0.9 miles SW
  4. Gilert Bay - 1 miles SW
  5. Georgina’s Bay - 1.2 miles SW
  6. Kilmore Quay - 1.3 miles N
  7. Bannow Bay - 5.6 miles WNW
  8. Baginbun Bay - 5.8 miles WNW
  9. Carne - 5.9 miles ENE
  10. Fethard On Sea - 5.9 miles WNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kilmore Quay - 1.3 miles N
  2. Bannow Bay - 5.6 miles WNW
  3. Baginbun Bay - 5.8 miles WNW
  4. Carne - 5.9 miles ENE
  5. Fethard On Sea - 5.9 miles WNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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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?

Convergance Point The Kilmore Quay Click to view haven entry provides approach directions for this haven.
Please note

Those planning to cruise this area should study the ’Additional notes for the Saltee Islands’ set out in these coastal descriptions or in the Kilmore Quay entry. A sharp lookout should always be kept for lobster pots in and around the Kilmore Quay area.

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.

Initial fix location 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.
Please note

Be careful not to drift into the island as the shoreline shelves abruptly.

Goose Rock with its southwestern head showing
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.

Haven location The anchorage is situated close south of the centre of the island. Two cairns, piled loose stones used as navigational beacons, will be seen upon the high points of Little Saltee Island to the southwest. Close in, deep water with excellent fine sand holding will be found here. Anchor according to draft approximately 100 metres off the shore. No landing is possible here.

Why visit here?
The Little Saltee Island Landing Beach Click to view haven 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 Route location ‘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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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.