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Killala 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.


Killala Bay which lies between Kilcummin Head and Lenadoon Point on the northwest coast of Ireland, is 5.5 miles wide with a depth of about 36 metres of water. The middle of the bay is clear of danger but the shores are low and foul. At the head of the bay is an inlet formed by the river Moy, and on the west shore is the little harbour of Killala, both obstructed by bars, and accessible towards high water only.

Killala requires attentive navigation to cross the sand bars but once inside it offers good protection in all winds except from the north.



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Keyfacts for Killala Bay
Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-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 area


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 arrangementScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
May 30th 2017

Summary

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-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 area


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 arrangementScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 13.025' N, 009° 12.838' W

At the quay at Killala

What is the initial fix?

The following Killala Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
54° 17.507' N, 009° 8.134' W
this is the position in the Atlantic Ocean midway between Kilcummin Head and Lenadoon Point



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 Killala Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Kilcummin - 2.1 miles N
  2. Belderg Harbour - 8.1 miles WNW
  3. Aughris Hole - 10.2 miles ENE
  4. Porturlin Bay - 11.5 miles WNW
  5. Brown Bay - 12.7 miles ENE
  6. Portacloy Bay - 13.1 miles WNW
  7. Ross Port - 13.2 miles W
  8. Ballysadare Bay - 13.6 miles E
  9. Inishmurray - 14.4 miles NE
  10. Rosses Point - 14.4 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kilcummin - 2.1 miles N
  2. Belderg Harbour - 8.1 miles WNW
  3. Aughris Hole - 10.2 miles ENE
  4. Porturlin Bay - 11.5 miles WNW
  5. Brown Bay - 12.7 miles ENE
  6. Portacloy Bay - 13.1 miles WNW
  7. Ross Port - 13.2 miles W
  8. Ballysadare Bay - 13.6 miles E
  9. Inishmurray - 14.4 miles NE
  10. Rosses Point - 14.4 miles ENE
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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?
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.

Killala Bay is on the west coast of Ireland and forms a natural border between the counties of Mayo and Sligo. It is a large north facing open bay off the Atlantic Ocean stretching between Kilcummin Head on the west side to Lenadoon Point on the east side, a distance of about 5.5 miles. The harbour at Killala is situated at the southwest corner of the bay and is about 6.5 miles northwest of Ballina.

The bay which is mostly surrounded by low lying land of sand hills and dunes, notably those across Bartagh Island, affords good shelter from offshore winds but is entirely exposed to winds from the north and northeast. The principal dangers of the bay are St. Patricks rocks which togther with the reef extend for about a mile in a north south direction south of Kilcummin Head to Ross Point. The middle of the bay is clear of dangers but the shores are low and foul and the harbour at Killala is approached across a bar with about 1 metre of water over it at low springs, and attentive navigation is required to negociate the narrow ill defined channels leading to the town quay. If required Pilots are on hand to give advice.

At the southeast head of the bay lies the market town of Ballina where the River Moy discharges into the estuary, and like Killala it also has a bar at its entrance with about the same depth of water over it. Killala's proximity to the sea renders it more accessible than Ballina and its bar is less exposed to the swell of the ocean, but although possessing greater natural advantages the trade of Killala is much inferior to that of Ballina.

The recognised anchorages within the bay are off Rinnaun Point below the Coastguard Station which leaves a dinghy trip of a mile to the town pier and where shelter is reasonably good except with east or northeast winds, and off Rathlackan pier which has 8 visitors moorings that are well sheltered from westerlies.

Please note

Care should be taken to avoid salmom nets which are laid between Kilcummin Head and Bone Rock and also in the Rathlan Bay inlet which lies to the west of Bone Rock.




Why visit here?
Killala Bay, Irish : Cuan Cill Ala, is famous in Irish history for the part it played in the 18C Irish Rebellion. In August 1798 three French frigates carrying over 1,000 men landed at Kilcummin Head on the west shore of Killala Bay. Together with native anti British sympathisers, this small force lead by Jean – Joseph Humbert succeeded in taking the British garrisons at Killala and Ballina and proceeded onwards to Castlebar which turned out to be one of the most ignominious defeats in the history of the British Army as they dropped their weapons and ran away from the French lead invaders, and this event thereafter was mockingly known as the “Castlebar Races”. In the following September Humberts army was finally crushed at Ballinamuck and the 800 French prisoners were brought to Dublin and within a few weeks they were exchanged and repatriated. This invasion is chronicled in Irish History as The Year of the French, and consequently Killala has become a popular destination for historians and was used as the major location for the multi million pound TV series “The Year of the French” by Thomas Flanagan. To commemorate this unique event in 1998 Killala celebrated the bicentenary by twinning with a town in Chauve, France.

On entering the bay as you approach the village of Killala you are aware of its two conspicuous landmarks, The Round Tower and the Cathedral spire. Dating back to the 12C the Round Tower is testament to the historic distinction of the village as an ecclesiatical centre. The tower still in perfect preservation was most likely used as a belfry and is one of the best round towers in Mayo. The Church of Ireland cathedral in the centre of Killala, a stone building dedicated to St. Patrick, was built in 1670 over the remains of a ruined Catholic cathedral that had stood on the same site.

The picturesque seaside village of Killala, Irish : Cill Ala, is a popular tourist destination with many amenities to entertain visitors. There are beautiful unspoilt beaches in the area including the nearby blue flag beach at Ross which is excellent for swimming and other watersports. A strong tradition of fishing prevails in the area and the village harbour is a focal point for tourists who spend many happy hours watching the local boats land their catch and chatting to the local fishermen whilst they mend their nets. Killalla Bay is an excellent fishing location due to its close proximity to the deep waters of the continental shelf, and boats departing from Killala quay can be hired by visiting anglers, and during August Killala also holds an annual Sea Angling Festival. Due to its sheltered nature cockles can be found in the bay, and during the summer season fishing for salmon is a major industry of the area with a processing factory located in Ballina. During 2013 a transatlantic cable is expected to come ashore at Killala en route to the north of Ireland as part of the Kelvin Project.

Killala village is a half mile walk from the quay and has limited facilities for the visiting yachtsman.
Fresh water is available at the quay and the town has small shops including a foodstore, a garage for fuel, a post office, pubs, bars and hotels serving food, doctors and a chemist, and a daily bus service. It is not recommended to proceed up the River Moy to Ballina on account of the heavy swell over the bar making it difficult and quite dangerous to navigate.


What facilities are available?
Killala village has limited facilties, but offers the chance to reprovision if required.


With thanks to:
inyourfootsteps.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 Killala area.


The following video presents aerial views of Killala Bay on a beautiful day.




The following video presents views of Killala Bay with Killala town in the background of the first 30 seconds.




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.