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Roundstone Bay

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Overview





Roundstone Bay and the fishing village and harbour of the same name, is an inlet off the Big Sound on the approaches to Galway Bay situated about midway between Golam Head and Slyne Head, and approximately 38 miles west of Galway itself, on the west coast of Ireland.

The bay offers good protection. It offers straightforward access in all reasonable weather and tide stages during daylight except in poor visibility or storm conditions. It is, however, if pushed one of the few harbours along this coast where it is possible to enter at night, although this is not recommended.



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Keyfacts for Roundstone Bay
Facilities
Water available via tapGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaBus service available in the areaBicycle hire 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
1 metres (3.28 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
March 4th 2020

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaBus service available in the areaBicycle hire 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

53° 23.798' N, 009° 55.067' W

This is the position of the Roundstone pierhead.

What is the initial fix?

The following Roundstone & Bertraghboy Bays initial fix will set up a final approach:
53° 21.075' N, 009° 55.415' W
On the alignment of Pat’s Point, the northeastern extremity of Inishlackan, and Roundstone Church on 003°T which clears Smith Rock.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in Western Ireland’s coastal overview from Loop Head to Slyne 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 Roundstone Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Gorteen Bay - 1.2 miles SW
  2. Bertraghboy Bay - 2.1 miles ENE
  3. Clifden - 4.1 miles NW
  4. Bunowen Bay - 4.4 miles W
  5. Clifden Boat Club - 4.5 miles NW
  6. Kilkieran Bay - 5 miles ESE
  7. Mannin Bay - 5 miles WNW
  8. Dinish & Furness Islands - 6.2 miles SE
  9. Fahy Bay - 6.4 miles NNW
  10. Ballynakill Harbour - 6.7 miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Gorteen Bay - 1.2 miles SW
  2. Bertraghboy Bay - 2.1 miles ENE
  3. Clifden - 4.1 miles NW
  4. Bunowen Bay - 4.4 miles W
  5. Clifden Boat Club - 4.5 miles NW
  6. Kilkieran Bay - 5 miles ESE
  7. Mannin Bay - 5 miles WNW
  8. Dinish & Furness Islands - 6.2 miles SE
  9. Fahy Bay - 6.4 miles NNW
  10. Ballynakill Harbour - 6.7 miles NNW
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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What's the story here?
The pretty village of Roundstone overlooking its small boat harbour
Image: Tourism Ireland


Roundstone is a bay with a pretty village and small boat harbour that lies on the western side of Inishnee Island. The bay penetrates for 2 miles in a north by northeast direction and provides a well-sheltered harbour for small vessels. It has a bar, with a depth of 0.6 metres, that extends across the bay about 1 mile northward of the southwestern end of Inishnee Island.


Boats moored in Roundstone Bay
Image: Tourism Ireland


Northward of the bar the depths increase and a well-sheltered anchorage can be found in 2 metres. 2.4 metres can be found off the small boat harbour at the village of Roundstone on the western side of the bay. Small vessels may lie aground on the mud or proceed alongside the quays when the tide permits. The harbour is exposed only to south-by-southeast winds and shelter can be found from these via a short move into the adjacent Bertraghboy Bay.


How to get in?
Roundstone
Image: Jrphoto External link


Convergance Point Use western Ireland’s coastal overview from Loop Head to Slyne Head Route location for approaches. Bertraghboy Bay and Roundstone Bay lie in the bight about midway between Golam Head and Slyne Head. Big Sound, entered between Deer Island and Mace Point about 2¼ miles eastward, extends northward to Roundstone Bay and then northeastward into Birterbuy Bay. The most sheltered approach to Roundstone Bay is through Inner Passage entered immediately west of Golam Head and then through Big Sound.

Roundstone and its small boat harbour
Image: Potcheen on the road External link


Initial fix location The initial fix is just over ½ a mile west of Freaghillaun and on the alignment of Pat’s Point, the northeastern extremity of Inishlackan, and Roundstone Church on 003° T. This alignment clears Smith Rock that has 2 metres over it and rarely breaks.

Proceed on the alignment for ¼ of a mile then turn for the centre of the entrance to Roundstone Bay and Bertraghboy Bay between Inishlackan and Inishtreh, off the mainland, more than ¾ of a mile east.

Standoff Inishlackan, which is fringed by foul ground extending ¼ of a mile from its southern end and has rocky ledges 300 metres off of its eastern side. The greatest dangers are the awash Bertragh Rocks that lie at the head of a foul area that extends ¼ of a mile northeastward from Pat’s Point, on Inishlackan's northeastern corner. Favouring the Inishness side of midway up through this fairway
clears these dangers.

The 2-metre contour of the bar will be encountered ⅓ of a mile south of the small boat harbour. The charted rock that is awash LAT and situated in the middle of the fairway is reported not exist and the sand bar is of uniform depth across the bay.


Yachts in Roundstone Bay
Image: Peter Miller via CC BY-NC 2.0


Haven location There are 4 visitors moorings half a mile southeast of the harbour, but these are in a more exposed location and leave a long dinghy ride to the village. The best anchoring area is off of the harbour in 2.4 metres LAT.


Roundstone's small boat harbour
Image: deek_ay via CC BY-SA 2.0


Inside the harbour, berth alongside the north quay which has a clear bottom, but avoid the east or west parts of the quay as the bottom is foul, or anchor just off the pier.


Why visit here?
Roundstone, Irish 'Cloch Na Ron' which means 'Rock of Seals or Seals Rock', is beautifully set on the west bank of Roundstone Bay.

As early as 1684 the Bay was referred to as Roundstone Haven and the strikingly round rock after which it is named stands like a marker at the entrance. Roundstone is one of the oldest resorts in Connemara being founded in the mid-1820s by the Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo and is situated on one of the most spectacular coastal drives in Ireland bordering the Atlantic Ocean and at the foot of Errisberg Mountain and with great views of The Twelve Bens a small mountain range located northeast of Roundstone village.


Fishermen working pots from the harbour
Image: Tourism Ireland


In this area of natural beauty, Roundstone has been rightly credited as being the birthplace and inspiration of much of Irelands artistic and creative art, to the extent that it attracts national and international artists to the village, and visitors will find several works of art in local peoples homes, bars and hotels, as well as in the village's galleries. It has also been described as a botanists delight as many rare wildflowers are to be found in the area around Roundstone.


The harbour features spectacular views over the Twelve Bens to the north
Image: Tourism Ireland


Today Roundstone's busy little harbour is home to the local fishermen who prepare and return with the days catch of lobster, mackerel, crab, crayfish, shrimp and cod, some of which are supplied to the many local seafood restaurants. It has also developed as a popular holiday destination for naturalists and artists, who together with visitors just come to enjoy the remarkable beauty of the surrounding seascapes and mountains, and also to sample two of Irelands finest beaches about 2 miles from Roundstone at Dogs Bay and Gurteen Beach. These beaches are of pure white sand formed exclusively of seashells and not from the usual quartz grain, and the safe and sheltered crystal clear waters are ideal for swimming and other water-based activities such as windsurfing, canoeing, snorkelling or scuba diving.

There are many places of historical, geological and scenic interest in the area near to Roundstone including the remains of numerous Christian settlements which have been found on several of the islands along the coast. At the northern end of Inishee, the long island across the bay from Roundstone, are the remains of an ancient monument to St. Brendan. There are up to 10 recognised walks in the vicinity of Roundstone one of which climbs Errisberg Mountain to the west of the village, the pleasant walk to the summit height of about 300 metres takes about 2 hours and affords stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and its islands, the Twelve Bens mountains, and the Roundstone Bog.

The ichael Killeen Park small craft centre park was built on the grounds of an old Franciscan Monastery first established in 1835. The monks left in the mid 1970's and the buildings were demolished in 1980, the bell tower in the centre of the park and the old walls that surround it are the last remaining pieces of the old Monastery. Roundstone is fast becoming a dormitory for Clifden and a weekend residence for Galway but it still retains much of its old charm. Other facilities to be found in Roundstone are a post office, a bicycle hire shop, a health centre, and a rural bus service to Galway.

From a boating perspective, Roundstone is a good base from which to explore the nearby bays.
These are Bertraghboy and Cashel, both of which give good shelter against all winds and seas depending on the choice of anchorage, and they afford lovely views of the Connemara mountains. There are several suitable anchorages to choose from with some marked visitors moorings available, and generally, the area offers safe shelter with good access.

The more recognised popular anchorages in Bertraghboy Bay are, off a bold bluff in south winds halfway between the entrance to Bertraghboy Bay and Carrickaleigh Rock where you can land at the old ruined pier; to the east side of Croghnut Islet which gives good shelter but rather a poor landing over weed-covered rocks; and north of Salt Point which gives good shelter in west winds. There are two notable anchorages in Cashel Bay, north of Canower Point at the entrance to the bay which gives good shelter in west winds, and off the quay at the head of Cashel Bay where you can land at the quay, but it is advisable to check before going alongside or drying out as the quay is pretty rough but the bottom alongside is clean.


What facilities are available?
The village has a good selection of pubs and bars, restaurants and cafes, a shop for limited provisions, and craft shops. Many of which can be found at The Michael Killeen Park which is a small craft centre about 5 minutes walk from the centre of Roundstone that has various shops selling everything from jewellery to sweaters. The town of Clifden is nearby to the north for total provisioning.


With thanks to:
eOceanic site research


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Aerial Roundstone Harbour and its surrounds (i)




Aerial Roundstone Harbour and its surrounds (ii)



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