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Broadhaven Bay

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Overview






Please note

eOceanic has been made aware of this haven. We are looking for a sailor with first-hand experience to provide their direct personal insights so that we may complete our write up. In advance of this we have posted these preliminary research notes. Do you know this location? Please contact us or click the 'Report a Mistake or Omission' button below to help share this location with the sailing community.


Broadhaven Bay is on the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo about 32 miles west of Ballina. It is a natural bay off the Atlantic Ocean, and its opening which is about 6 miles wide faces northward stretching between Erris Head on the west side and Kid Island on the east side.

Once inside the bay the inner harbour is about 5 miles long and up to 1 mile wide in parts which leads to the town of Belmullet, Irish : Beal an Mhuirthead, meaning mouth of the Mullet. It is a safe harbour for refuge in most summer gales with straightforward access and is the best overnight anchorage for yachts crossing to and from Donegal. The bay and its inlets are surrounded by low lying land of mainly sandhills and beaches, and Atlantic blanket bog.

Two of the more popular anchorages are on the west side of the bay; in the cove to the north of Gubaknockan Point which is a most convenient anchorage out of the main stream and which offers good shelter and can easily be found in the dark, and the other anchorage on the west side is just outside the modern pier at Ballyglass which is sometimes subject to swell. It may be possible to tie up alongside a fishing trawler at the pier for a short stay but be prepared to move on if required. There are two alternative anchorages on the east side of the bay which afford good shelter in strong east winds, one just off shore at Iver Point, and one further south at Iver Hamlet which is shallow the further in you go. The rest of the bay can be explored by dinghy on a rising tide up to Barnatra.

On the approach to Broadhaven Bay consideration should be given to an exposed rock called Monastery Rock on the west side of the entrance.



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Keyfacts for Broadhaven Bay
Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaBus service available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityRemote or quiet secluded locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or 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
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
May 30th 2017

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaBus service available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityRemote or quiet secluded locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 15.196' N, 009° 53.475' W

This is the position at Ballyglass pier

What is the initial fix?

The following Broadhaven Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
54° 18.913' N, 009° 55.502' W
Midway between Erris Head and Kid Island



Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Broadhaven Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Ross Port - 2.2 miles NE
  2. Portacloy Bay - 3.8 miles NE
  3. Frenchport (Portnafrankagh) - 4.2 miles W
  4. Porturlin Bay - 4.7 miles ENE
  5. Blacksod Bay - 6.8 miles SSW
  6. Belderg Harbour - 7.7 miles ENE
  7. Inishkea Island South - 8.3 miles SW
  8. Keel Bay - 11.7 miles SSW
  9. Keem Bay - 12.5 miles SSW
  10. Killala Bay - 14.8 miles E
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Ross Port - 2.2 miles NE
  2. Portacloy Bay - 3.8 miles NE
  3. Frenchport (Portnafrankagh) - 4.2 miles W
  4. Porturlin Bay - 4.7 miles ENE
  5. Blacksod Bay - 6.8 miles SSW
  6. Belderg Harbour - 7.7 miles ENE
  7. Inishkea Island South - 8.3 miles SW
  8. Keel Bay - 11.7 miles SSW
  9. Keem Bay - 12.5 miles SSW
  10. Killala Bay - 14.8 miles E
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
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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Route location The 'Erris Head to Malin Head' coastal description provides approach information to the suggested initial fix. Vessels approaching from the south should select the northeast bound Route location sequenced description; vessels approaching from the north should select the southwest bound Route location sequence; western approaches may use either description.


What's the story here?
Broadhaven Bay, Irish : Cuan an Inbhir, is best known for its importance as a unique marine habitat for many marine mammals and other marine life, as it incorporates several different types of coastal habitats ranging from exposed bedrock at the foot of the Benwee Head cliffs to sheltered mud flats at the upper end of the estuary. The bay was designated in 2000 by the National Parks and Wildlife Service as a Special Area of Conservation concerning Atlantic salt marsh, tidal mudflats, reefs and large shallow bays. Contained within an area that is relatively small, Broadhaven Bay and its inlet Sruth Fada Conn Bay represent possibly the only known area in Ireland that has all five species of protected, endangered and vulnerable animals namely, the common bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise, gray seal, common seal, and the European otter.

In the 16C during the era of the Spanish Armada, several of their ships floundered in the waters of north Mayo, and there are many stories of fortunes of gold and treasure trove being salted away by local pirates after looting unfortunate ships that tried to seek shelter in the bays from the rough seas. In more recent times boats are guided through the bay by the Ballyglass lighthouse which stands on the north western shore at the entrance to the bay, and those that do encounter trouble use the services of the lifeboat stationed at Ballyglass pier.

Situated to the north east of the entrance to Broadhaven Bay and a short distance from the high cliffs of Benwee Head are a group of jagged rocky islands known as the Stags of Broadhaven which rise steeply out of the sea to over a 100 metres above sea level. One of the rocks is entirely bisected by a long narrow cave, and the site is popular for visiting divers, sub aqua teams and canoeists.

About six miles from Ballyglass pier at the southwest corner of Broadhaven Bay lies the small town of Belmullet in the Barony of Erris, it is the largest town of the Mullet Peninsula and is the commercial heart of this area of Co. Mayo. It offers the visiting yachtsman an opportunity to restock with provisions as it has many shops including butchers and supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and pubs, a bank and post office, medical services, garages, and a local bus service. The quay which is on the Blacksod side of the town dries, and as access is narrow, tortuous and shallow, it is not recommended that yachts go in there. In the 18C Sir Arthur Shaen had a canal excavated which linked Broadhaven Bay to Blacksod Bay passing through Belmullet. Thereafter known as Shaen's Cut the canal was large enough for small boats to pass through, but owing to little development and lack of traffic the canal became choked up and by 1752 it was impassible and today is little more than a stream which dries.

In recent years Broadhaven Bay has been the subject of much controversy as it is the proposed site by Royal Dutch Shell for the Corrib Gas Project which involves the Solitaire reputedly the largest pipelying ship in the world laying an offshore section of extremely high pressure gas. To date permission for the development has yet to be approved.

Broadhaven Bay is an ideal place to drop into in bad weather having good access and shelter. Facilities in the area are limited but most that a visiting yachtsman requires is obtainable at Bellmullet reached by local taxi or a dinghy trip. Water is available at Ballyglass pier, and there are showers at the lifeboat station that visitors can obtain permission to use, and also a small shop for simple provisions at Barnatra.


What facilities are available?
Serving a population of about 1,000, Bellmullet has many shops including butchers and supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and pubs, a bank, post office, medical services, garages and a local bus service.


With thanks to:
inyourfoosteps.com site research


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












The following videos may be useful to help first time visitors familiarise themselves with the Broadhaven area.

The following video presents a short film of Boradhaven Bay in very calm conditions.




The following video presents a small boat ride around the bay showing Ballyglass lighthouse and lifeboat station.




A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


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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.