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Port Dandy

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Overview





Port Dandy on Copeland Island, one of the Copeland Islands group, is located in the Irish Sea off the northeast coast of Ireland. The island group is situated on the south side of the entrance to Belfast Lough, and Copeland Island is the largest island and closest to the mainland. Port Dandy is a very small inlet on the northwest side of the secluded island that provides a popular anchorage for a maximum of two or three boats.

The bay provides good anchorage in the north through east to southerly conditions, but is exposed to all conditions with a westerly quadrant and holding is not the best. Access is straightforward in daylight at any stage of the tide although a great measure of tidal planning will be required to operate in this area.
Please note

Any trip to the Copeland Islands will require good charts and careful navigation as the waters are shoal, encumbered with rocks and the channels between are swept by rapid tides. This is particularly true of Donaghadee Sound, where streams achieve 4.5 knots in places and great care plus tidal planning is necessary on approach and departure. In thick weather, the area should be avoided entirely.




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Keyfacts for Port Dandy
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tender

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tender

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 40.552' N, 005° 32.705' W

This is in the middle of Port Dandy inlet on the inner point of Admiralty Chart 1753’s three meter contour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Port Dandy Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 40.550' N, 005° 33.730' W
This is just over half a mile directly west of the inlet. It is set well outside the Port Dandy inlet to ensure a southern approach, from the Foreland Red Can Buoy Fl R 6s, is well clear of ‘Rid Rock’ and ‘Carn Point’.


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.

  • From the north and east leave Lighthouse, Mew and Copeland Islands well clear to port.

  • From Belfast Lough or the north there are no dangers beyond 150 metres from the shoreline.

  • Approach Port Dandy from Donaghadee Sound fairway, or from due south, pay particular attention to stand clear of the very dangerous Rid Rock when rounding the island.


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 Port Dandy for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Chapel Bay - 0.2 miles SE
  2. Donaghadee Harbour - 1.2 miles SSE
  3. Copelands Marina - 1.4 miles SSE
  4. Groomsport - 1.6 miles W
  5. Ballyholme Bay - 2.3 miles W
  6. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 2.8 miles W
  7. Helen’s Bay - 4 miles W
  8. Whitehead - 4.5 miles NW
  9. Ballywalter - 5 miles SSE
  10. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 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. Chapel Bay - 0.2 miles SE
  2. Donaghadee Harbour - 1.2 miles SSE
  3. Copelands Marina - 1.4 miles SSE
  4. Groomsport - 1.6 miles W
  5. Ballyholme Bay - 2.3 miles W
  6. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 2.8 miles W
  7. Helen’s Bay - 4 miles W
  8. Whitehead - 4.5 miles NW
  9. Ballywalter - 5 miles SSE
  10. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 5.9 miles WNW
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?
Port Dandy, top left, facing west and situated at the north side of Copeland
Island

Image: nealpreston46


Port Dandy is a narrow bay facing west situated on the north side of the uninhabited Copeland Island, the largest of the island group off the southern entrance to Belfast Lough. Set at the southern entrance to Belfast Lough the Bangor Harbour Click to view haven, situated five miles to the west, provides general approach directions to the area.

The single exception to this is for a vessel approaching Chapel Bay from around the north side of the island and hugging the shoreline. Do not be tempted to follow the western coastline of Copeland Island from Chapel Bay into port Dandy. A drying area extends a quarter of a mile southward from the islands westernmost point. This terminates at the continually exposed 1 metre high Carn Point. Foul ground then extends a further 200 metres southward from Carn Point to the dangerous and covered Rid Rock. Hence vessels approaching from the adjacent Chapel Bay cannot cut into Port Dandy or directly from Donaghadee Sound. Rather it is necessary to drop south of the Chapel Bay, circle around Rid Rock, before approaching Port Dandy from the west.

The Port Dandy initial fix is set well outside Port Dandy to ensure a southern approach is well clear of Carn Point and its outlying danger of Rid Rock. Vessels approaching from all other directions may cut in closer as there are no dangers metres 150 metres out from the shoreline.


Initial fix location From the initial fix turn due east to approach the inlet that is just over half a mile away. Be vigilant not to be pushed off course by the tidal streams of Donaghadee Sound. Port Dandy’s sheltered waters lie close inside the small and narrow slot.

Port Dandy's landing beach
Image: Dillon Osborne


Haven location Come right into the centre of the slot where enough space will be found to accommodate at least a couple of boats. The inlet is steep-too with good water close in. Anchor in a depth to your preference on rock and stones where holding is not great.

Dinghy landings are possible on the rocky beach at the head of the inlet.


Why visit here?
Port Dandy is an alternative anchorage to Copeland Island’s spacious primary anchorage situated in the adjacent Chapel Bay.

Small and enclosed it is very different to Chapel Bay and very popular during the sailing season. Those who wish to come ashore here will find the island is well covered in the Chapel Bay Click to view haven entry.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities available off this secluded island.


Any security concerns?
Never an incident known to have happened to a vessel anchored in Port Dandy.


With thanks to:
Michael Fitzsimons, Groomsport Harbour Master. Photography with thanks to Francis Robinson.


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









Aerial views of Donaghadee and Copeland Island



Aerial views of Copeland Island



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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.