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Greenisland

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Overview





Green Island is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the northern shores of Belfast Lough and approximately a mile and a half to the southwest of Carrickfergus Harbour. It provides an out-of-the-way anchorage location that could be an alternative to Carrickfergus harbour and marina.

Green Island is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the northern shores of Belfast Lough and approximately a mile and a half to the southwest of Carrickfergus Harbour. It provides an out-of-the-way anchorage location that could be an alternative to Carrickfergus harbour and marina.

Deep within Belfast Lough, the anchorage provides good protection from northwest through north to northeast. However, the anchorage is entirely exposed from east through south to southwest. Whilst subject to very little westerly fetch, winds from this direction tend to be accelerated as they funnel down the valley into the Lough. The anchorage itself is unmarked but with few off-lying dangers in the area, daylight access is straightforward at any stage of the tide.
Please note

Green Island is located within the Port of Belfast where all boat movements are controlled and managed. Visiting vessels must make Belfast Harbour Radio aware of intentions prior to approach and stay in contact throughout the berthing process. Vessels operating within the Port of Belfast area must do so under power with sails down taking care not to impede commercial traffic. Regular fast ferries travel in and out of Belfast Lough. If crossing the entrance to Belfast Lough a good watch must be maintained and a vessel should be prepared to be struck unexpectedly by the wash at all times.




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Keyfacts for Greenisland



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this locationNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 41.530' N, 005° 50.910' W

This is 400 metres south of Green Island in approximately three metres.

What is the initial fix?

The following Belfast Harbour Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 41.710' N, 005° 46.225' W
The initial fix is the position of Fairway Light buoy, L Fl 10s, situated between Carrickfergus and Grey Point. This safe water marker leads into the Victoria Channel, a five mile southwest tending fairway through the lough to the harbour entrance that then continues up the Lagan River. The Victoria Channel is well marked by frequently lit buoys and beacons on either side.


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.

  • Approaches to the lough can be found in the Bangor Harbour Click to view havenentry.
  • Track into the Fairway Light buoy through Belfast Lough's open navigable area that is free of dangers.

  • Enter the channel and turn off to starboard at the No. 3 green marker and head for the area offshore of the islet. Or come along the north shore from Carrickfergus keeping half a mile offshore.


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 Greenisland for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Newtownabbey - 0.7 miles SW
  2. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 1 miles NE
  3. Cultra - 1.6 miles SSE
  4. Helen’s Bay - 2.6 miles ESE
  5. Belfast Harbour - 3.5 miles SSW
  6. Whitehead - 3.9 miles NE
  7. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 3.9 miles ESE
  8. Ballyholme Bay - 4.3 miles ESE
  9. Groomsport - 5 miles E
  10. Magheramorne Point - 5 miles NNE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Newtownabbey - 0.7 miles SW
  2. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 1 miles NE
  3. Cultra - 1.6 miles SSE
  4. Helen’s Bay - 2.6 miles ESE
  5. Belfast Harbour - 3.5 miles SSW
  6. Whitehead - 3.9 miles NE
  7. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 3.9 miles ESE
  8. Ballyholme Bay - 4.3 miles ESE
  9. Groomsport - 5 miles E
  10. Magheramorne Point - 5 miles NNE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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How to get in?


Greenisland is situated off the northern shoreline of Belfast Lough a mile and a half inside Carrickfergus Harbour.

Convergance Point Directions for Bangor Harbour Click to view haven may be used for approaches to the lough. From which track to the Belfast Fairway Light buoy, L Fl 10s, which is situated in the middle of the lough between Carrickfergus and Grey Point on the opposite shore.

Greenisland is located within the Port of Belfast where all boat movements are controlled and managed. Boats operating in the Port of Belfast area must do so under power with sails down taking care not to impede commercial traffic. Belfast Harbour radio maintains Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) for the Belfast Lough area. All vessels are required to report to Belfast Harbour radio on VHF Channel 12 or 16 or by telephone on +44 2890 553504 well in advance of arrival and advise them of your intentions.


Initial fix location From the initial fix, the position of the Fairway Light buoy, LFl.10s, steer to pass between the No. 1 Green buoy, starboard hand marker, Fl2 G (sync) and the No. 2 Red buoy, port hand marker Fl2 R 2s (sync) 2.5 miles west by southwest. The No.1 and No.2 mark the entrance to the Belfast Lough Victoria Channel that leads in through the head of the lough and through the harbour’s extensive port walls on both sides. Turn off to starboard at the No. 3 green marker and head for the area offshore of the islet.
Please note

The Victoria Channel is a ‘narrow channel’ meaning Rule 9 of the Collision Regulations applies, so keep to the right and do not impede large ships under any circumstances.



Alternatively take a westward path from the Fairway Light buoy along the southern side of the Carrickfergus Bank, for approximately three miles to come south of the Green Island. Stand well off the area between Kilroot and Carrickfergus as a drying shoal extends up to ½ a mile out from the shore.

Greenisland's small round castellated tower structure
Image: Pastor Sam CC BY 3.0
Green Island, a small grass-covered islet, will be clearly visible at all states of the tide as it is situated 150 metres offshore and stands 3 meters high. A good marker is a small round castellated tower structure that is situated on the shoreline with its base covered at high tide. It stands on the opposite point of Jointure Bay 400 metres to the northeast of the island. Likewise, during the season, it is most likely that local vessels will be anchored offshore here.


Haven location Once Green Island has been identified find a position 400 metres to the south of it and anchor in 2 to 3 metres where good sand holding will be found. Keep well clear of the protected shellfish beds in the surrounding area where anchoring is prohibited.

Land on the beach in Jointure Bay or alternatively on the beach off the small town of Greenisland half a mile to the west.


Why visit here?
Greenisland is named from its three-metre high grassy islet that stands out a short distance from the shore here.


Initially the area was based on a collection of small townlands with strong connections to Carrickfergus. However, Belfast’s rapid growth at the end of the 18th Century created a wealthy merchant class who in turn developed this area as a summer resort for ‘gentlemen’. Bassett’s directory of 1888 notes that it was ‘devoted entirely too handsome residences occupied for the greater part by gentlemen engaged in commercial and professional pursuits in Belfast’. As such, the main concentration of houses and amenities commenced on the Shore Road with bathing lodges appearing alongside. Stonepoint was constructed in 1860, and Ravenhill, now transformed into Ravenhill Nursing Home that stands directly west of the islet, dates back to 1820. These provided summer lough-side recreation for the new wealthy industrial classes.


In 1845 new impetus was added to the development by the coming of the railway. The Belfast to Ballymena line provided one of the first transport links to the village from both Belfast and Carrickfergus. The route was via a turntable, then known as Carrickfergus Junction, as a result of the early engines inability to take on the steep gradient of the direct Whiteabbey to Ballymena route. When in 1893 a larger station was constructed in the village, the station and its surrounding area was finally given the official name of Greenisland. These improvements in transport and a growth in prosperity led to the development of more semi-detached and terraced houses in the area immediately surrounding the railway station. This continued into the twentieth century when large predominantly working-class housing estates were built during the 1950's and 60's. These accommodated factory workers for Carrickfergus or Belfast commuters.


Today the village stretches from the shore of Belfast Lough to the foot of Knockagh and is a popular residential location due to its proximity to Belfast and its attractive lough shore setting.


Those who come here should take the opportunity to climb the village’s dominating Knockagh Hill. Standing 278 metres above and overlooking the village, it is the most imposing physical feature on the north side of Belfast Lough. On its summit stands a basalt obelisk which is the most notable landmark of the surrounding area. The monument commemorates the Co Antrim people who died in the First World War. It was later rededicated in remembrance to those from the County who died in the Second World War when the figures 1939-1945 were added to the inscription. The summit rewards the visitor with panoramic views from Carrickfergus to Belfast and across Belfast Lough, with Scotland and the Mourne Mountains in evidence on clear days. Likewise, golfers may find the golf course beneath the Knockagh monument of interest. First laid on the slopes in 1894 it is a challenging 9-hole mature parkland golf course with a Par of 71.


For the cruising boater, Greenisland offers a convenient anchorage just over a mile from Carrickfergus. Close to nearby Newtownabbey it also offers good rail connections to the city with plenty immediately ashore to make it worthwhile to launch the dingy.


What facilities are available?
The secluded anchorage off Green Island has no facilities. The nearby semi-rural town of Greenisland has a number of shops to cater for its settlement of 5,000 people. These include grocery shops and newsagents, a petrol filling station, a butcher's shop, a bakery, a chemist, an off-licence, a café, and a number of takeaway food outlets plus a hotel and restaurant.

It lies 14 km (9 miles) north-east of Belfast and 5 km (3 miles) south-west of Carrickfergus. A railway station provides direct rail links to both the Belfast and Larne directions, from around 5am until 11pm. Most Ulsterbus, Belfast and Carrickfergus to Whitehead bus services, take a ten minute detour into the Greenisland estate before continuing to their destination. These provide the village with frequent transport links in each direction.


Any security concerns?
Never an incident known to have happened to a vessel anchored off Green Island.


With thanks to:
Michael Fitzsimons, Groomsport Harbour Master. Photography with thanks to Albert Bridge, Jerkyboy6, Peter Clifford, Pastor Sam, Richard Luney, Goya.


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














About Greenisland

Greenisland is named from its three-metre high grassy islet that stands out a short distance from the shore here.


Initially the area was based on a collection of small townlands with strong connections to Carrickfergus. However, Belfast’s rapid growth at the end of the 18th Century created a wealthy merchant class who in turn developed this area as a summer resort for ‘gentlemen’. Bassett’s directory of 1888 notes that it was ‘devoted entirely too handsome residences occupied for the greater part by gentlemen engaged in commercial and professional pursuits in Belfast’. As such, the main concentration of houses and amenities commenced on the Shore Road with bathing lodges appearing alongside. Stonepoint was constructed in 1860, and Ravenhill, now transformed into Ravenhill Nursing Home that stands directly west of the islet, dates back to 1820. These provided summer lough-side recreation for the new wealthy industrial classes.


In 1845 new impetus was added to the development by the coming of the railway. The Belfast to Ballymena line provided one of the first transport links to the village from both Belfast and Carrickfergus. The route was via a turntable, then known as Carrickfergus Junction, as a result of the early engines inability to take on the steep gradient of the direct Whiteabbey to Ballymena route. When in 1893 a larger station was constructed in the village, the station and its surrounding area was finally given the official name of Greenisland. These improvements in transport and a growth in prosperity led to the development of more semi-detached and terraced houses in the area immediately surrounding the railway station. This continued into the twentieth century when large predominantly working-class housing estates were built during the 1950's and 60's. These accommodated factory workers for Carrickfergus or Belfast commuters.


Today the village stretches from the shore of Belfast Lough to the foot of Knockagh and is a popular residential location due to its proximity to Belfast and its attractive lough shore setting.


Those who come here should take the opportunity to climb the village’s dominating Knockagh Hill. Standing 278 metres above and overlooking the village, it is the most imposing physical feature on the north side of Belfast Lough. On its summit stands a basalt obelisk which is the most notable landmark of the surrounding area. The monument commemorates the Co Antrim people who died in the First World War. It was later rededicated in remembrance to those from the County who died in the Second World War when the figures 1939-1945 were added to the inscription. The summit rewards the visitor with panoramic views from Carrickfergus to Belfast and across Belfast Lough, with Scotland and the Mourne Mountains in evidence on clear days. Likewise, golfers may find the golf course beneath the Knockagh monument of interest. First laid on the slopes in 1894 it is a challenging 9-hole mature parkland golf course with a Par of 71.


For the cruising boater, Greenisland offers a convenient anchorage just over a mile from Carrickfergus. Close to nearby Newtownabbey it also offers good rail connections to the city with plenty immediately ashore to make it worthwhile to launch the dingy.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Newtownabbey - 0.7 miles SW
Belfast Harbour - 3.5 miles SSW
Cultra - 1.6 miles SSE
Helen’s Bay - 2.6 miles ESE
Bangor Harbour & Marina - 3.9 miles ESE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 1 miles NE
Whitehead - 3.9 miles NE
Portmuck - 6.4 miles NNE
Brown’s Bay - 6.3 miles NNE
Ferris Bay - 6.1 miles NNE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Greenisland.













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