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Oysterhaven

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Overview





Oyster Haven is a sea-inlet on the south coast of Ireland situated about ten miles southwest of the entrance to Cork Harbour and two miles east of the entrance to Kinsale Harbour, in Co. Cork. The natural harbour offers a picturesque and secluded anchorage but with few shore facilities.

The natural harbour offers complete protection from all conditions. The lower section of the harbour is somewhat exposed to stiff conditions from the south round to southeast, but in these conditions, shelter may be obtained by taking the vessel up ‘Murray’ Creek’ situated in the northwest arm of the harbour, which will support vessels of up to two metres. Oysterhaven provides straightforward access and may be entered in daylight in almost all conditions on any state of the tide.
Please note

There is an unmarked and covered rock inside the harbour. This is easily avoided by taking a westerly route up through the harbour but should be noted from the outset.




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Keyfacts for Oysterhaven
Facilities
Slipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
May 4th 2018

Summary

A completely protected location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Slipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 41.720' N, 008° 27.180' W

In the middle of the anchorage to the northwest of Ferry Point in 3.7 metres.

What is the initial fix?

The following Oysterhaven initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 41.000' N, 008° 27.000' W
This waypoint is outside the haven entrance. It is approximately a quarter of a nautical mile east of Ballymacus point, quarter of a nautical mile to the north of Big Sovereign Rock and quarter of a nautical mile to the west of Little Sovereign.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location.


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 Oysterhaven for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Kinsale Harbour - 1.5 miles W
  2. Sandy Cove - 1.7 miles WSW
  3. Holeopen Bay East - 3.5 miles SSW
  4. Holeopen Bay West - 3.7 miles SW
  5. Robert's Cove - 3.7 miles ENE
  6. Ringabella Bay - 4.4 miles NE
  7. Drake’s Pool - 4.9 miles NNE
  8. Crosshaven - 5.4 miles NE
  9. Coolmain Bay - 5.5 miles WSW
  10. White Bay - 6.2 miles NE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kinsale Harbour - 1.5 miles W
  2. Sandy Cove - 1.7 miles WSW
  3. Holeopen Bay East - 3.5 miles SSW
  4. Holeopen Bay West - 3.7 miles SW
  5. Robert's Cove - 3.7 miles ENE
  6. Ringabella Bay - 4.4 miles NE
  7. Drake’s Pool - 4.9 miles NNE
  8. Crosshaven - 5.4 miles NE
  9. Coolmain Bay - 5.5 miles WSW
  10. White Bay - 6.2 miles NE
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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?


Oysterhaven is a large sea-inlet two miles to the east of Kinsale Harbour. It is readily identified from seaward by its off-lying Sovereign islets. The most conspicuous of these is the Big Sovereign islet that is situated half a mile south of the entrance.



Big Sovereign is made up of two steep and inaccessible hummocks that are divided into two parts by a cleft. Further inshore and 200 metres off the eastern point of the entrance is the 16 metres high rocky Little Sovereign islet. Midway between them is Sovereign Patch that has a least depth of 2.7 metres.



The Sovereigns provide excellent marks to locate the Oysterhaven entrance and there is good depths all around them; even little Sovereign has in excess of two metres chart datum plus more with a half tide. Hence the initial fix is immediately located outside the entrance within both these conspicuous marks.



Initial fix location From the initial fix proceed north through the harbour entrance that is situated between Ballymacus Point on the western shore and Kimure Point on the eastern shore, about 0.6 miles northeast of Ballymacus Point. The inner entrance is narrow, but there is plenty of water at the mouth of the harbour that is free of obstructions.



The only danger in the way of vessels entering Oysterhaven is in the inner harbour area beyond Kinure Point. This is a covered and unmarked rock called ‘Harbour Rock’ that has a depth of 1.2 metres and lies about half a mile within the entrance; about halfway up inside the harbour abreast of Ferry Point, nearly midway between the opposite shores. The best channel is to the west of it, between Ferry Point and the rock, a distance of approximately 280 metres, where the rock is passed to starboard.



Haven location The anchorage is on the north side of Ferry Point, at the entrance of the western arm, in 3 to 5 metres of water. Find a location that is comfortable and anchor about a midpoint between the shores.



There is good holding in mud but do be careful that the anchor does not foul in seaweed. It is slightly confined by other boats and moorings in the season and an alternate anchorage can be found in the middle of the harbour. Land at the slip on the opposite shore to Ferry Point where a large white coastguard building will be seen.



Both these locations can be exposed to a heavy sea with south-westerly winds. In these conditions, a vessel can obtain better shelter by continuing up the north-western arm of the bay into the picturesquely forested ‘Murray’s Creek’ often also known as Belgooley River.



The creek is subject to silting so vessels proceeding up the creek should take it steady with an eye to the sounder all the way. Expect to find two metres all the way up to a small pier where it is best to anchor in excellent mud holding. After this, it narrows and quickly becomes shallow. Many moorings will be encountered all the way up the creek.


Why visit here?
Oysterhaven, in Irish Cuan Oisre, as noted by A. Reilly’s Cork history of 1701 derives its name from the excellent oysters that can be found here.



Historically very little has happened in this secluded and tranquil location. Its only footnote in history was during the ‘Siege of Kinsale’ when it was used by the British army as a place to land supplies. After the Boyne, William occupied Dublin and the Jacobites retreated to the west of Ireland. William attacked Limerick in August 1690 but was repulsed. To secure the Jacobite-held ports of Cork and Kinsale on the southern coast, he dispatched a force under John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. After taking Cork all that remained for the Williamites was to take Kinsale which was strongly defended by two forts, the Old Fort, also known as James' Fort, and the New Fort or Charles Fort.

The English forces besieging Kinsale then brought supplies to their camp, located to the north of the town, from ships anchored in Oysterhaven and then by boat up ‘Murray Creek’ to Brown's Mills. Marlborough attacked the fortifications but was unable to take them by storm. The Old Fort only fell after an accidental explosion in its gunpowder magazine, which killed 40 and made a successful assault possible. After some 200 were slain the rest surrendered, receiving mercy. Charles Fort, however, held out for ten days and surrendered only after receiving guarantees that its 1,200-strong garrison could march away to Limerick.

After this brief flurry of activity Oysterhaven returned to the tranquil and picturesque harbour it is today. It now hosts a peaceful community that mainly consists of retired people and occasional wealthy owners of its holiday homes. You will see many other yachtsmen coming and going from their moorings.



For the cruising boatman, it provides sheltered bays that make for a very pleasant anchorage with quick access to open water. It is a place where a vessel can peacefully swing on its chain away from the world of hustle and bustle whilst trailing a fishing line off the stern.


What facilities are available?
Oyster Haven has little or no facilities apart from a pier and slipway to land a dingy on. It has a very high status hotel, set in 90 acres of mature wooded parkland with panoramic views overlooking Oysterhaven Bay. The busy town of Kinsale however is only five to six kilometres away six and the bay is only 20 minutes from Cork International Airport.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred in Oyster Haven.


With thanks to:
Anthony McCarthy, local yachtsman.Photographs with thanks to Erik Sykora, 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.