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Kitchen Cove

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Overview





Kitchen Cove is situated in Co. Cork on the southwest coast of Ireland, near the head of Dunmanus Bay. It provides an anchorage in a truly beautiful sailing location with access to a new pier and a small village.

The small rocky cove provides good protection from all but strong southerly conditions and even this is somewhat dissipated by its fringing rocks. Access is straightforward at any stage of the tide. However, the access path has fringing dangers that require some easy daylight navigation but make a nighttime entry inadvisable.
Please note

A good weather window would be required to visit any of Dunmanus Bay’s havens if a vessel is time restricted. Especially the inner havens that are situated close to the head of the cul-de-sac. If the prevailing winds were to come on strong, though good shelter may be found, it would be difficult however to sail out of the bay.




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Keyfacts for Kitchen Cove
Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableBus service available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsScenic 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
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.



Last modified
July 19th 2018

Summary

A tolerable location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableBus service available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsScenic 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

51° 35.901' N, 009° 37.967' W

this is the position of the anchorage in the inner harbour

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) Kitchen Cove initial fix

51° 35.465' N, 009° 38.130' W

This is immediately outside the southwest entrance to Kitchen Cove, on the 20 metre contour and about half a mile from the anchoring area. Maintaining a steady bearing of 16° T to Ahakista's new concrete pier head, located at the head of the bay, leads the way through the centre of the harbour fairway.

(ii) Dunmanus Bay initial fix

51° 30.700' N, 009° 51.200' W

This initial fix positions an Atlantic approach to Dunmanus Bay and is set midway between Sheep's Head and Mizen Head.
Please note

Initial fixes only set up their listed targets. Do not plan to sail directly between initial fixes as a routing sequence.




What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Mizen Head to Loop 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 Kitchen Cove for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dunbeacon Cove - 1.1 miles ESE
  2. Kilcrohane Pier - 1.7 miles WSW
  3. Dunbeacon Harbour - 2 miles ENE
  4. Dunmanus Harbour - 2.2 miles SSW
  5. Dooneen Pier - 2.5 miles WSW
  6. Toormore Cove - 3.1 miles S
  7. Carrigmore Bay - 3.2 miles S
  8. Ballynatra - 3.3 miles WSW
  9. Schull Harbour (Skull) - 3.5 miles SE
  10. Adrigole - 3.8 miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dunbeacon Cove - 1.1 miles ESE
  2. Kilcrohane Pier - 1.7 miles WSW
  3. Dunbeacon Harbour - 2 miles ENE
  4. Dunmanus Harbour - 2.2 miles SSW
  5. Dooneen Pier - 2.5 miles WSW
  6. Toormore Cove - 3.1 miles S
  7. Carrigmore Bay - 3.2 miles S
  8. Ballynatra - 3.3 miles WSW
  9. Schull Harbour (Skull) - 3.5 miles SE
  10. Adrigole - 3.8 miles NNW
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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?
Kitchen Cove
Image: Tom Vaughan


Kitchen Cove is a small rocky inlet on the north shore of Dunmanus Bay situated about eleven miles from the entrance. It is nearly midway between Point-na-bullig and Reen point, with the low islet Owen's Island sitting centrally on the outside. The cove may be easily recognised from seaward by some trees near the head of the cove, a white chapel on the rising ground half a mile to the northeast, and also its pier and mansion house in the northwest corner. The east side of the cove is foul with reefs, but within the deep waters to the west of these reefs, the cove's well-sheltered anchorage can be found.




Convergance Point Details for the run up the long and narrow Dunmanus Bay are covered in the Dunbeacon Harbour Click to view haven entry.



Initial fix location From the initial fix Ahakista's new concrete pier will clearly be seen at the head of the bay with a house standing close west. Maintaining a steady bearing of 16° T to the pier head, in more that 10 metres to the pole mark, leads in through the entrance and up the harbour fairway.

The entrance’s navigable width is 200 metres where a midway path provides depths in excess of 18 metres. It is situated between Carrigeenaroontia, a drying rock lying off the western entrance point, and a rocky ledge that extends 150 metres to the southwest from Owen's Island.

Once inside the entrance it is simply a matter of running along the western shore keeping on track to the pier. This path passes between the western shorelines rocky fringes and the reefs that occupy the eastern side of the inlet.



From a leisure point of view, Kitchen Cove’s major entrance danger are the rocks encroaching from the western shore near the head of the bay. The outermost of these is a singular rock that dries to 0.2 metres. This is situated immediately west, or to port, of the entry track and situated about 300 metres to the southwest of the pier. It is well marked by a red and white pole that may occasionally carry a flag. This pole must be passed to port as the rock dries and the inshore area between this mark and the mainland is entirely foul.



The danger here is that the inner anchoring area, situated in the northwest corner of the cove, begins to reveal itself to an entering vessel to the south of this mark. From this point of view the mark may also be easily overlooked. This invites the unfamiliar to cut inside the mark towards the mooring area over the reefs.
Please note

It is essential to pass to the east of the inner pole marker and continue at least 100 metres towards the pier before turning to explore the northwest section of the cove. Do not pass between of the pole marker and the shore.



A side channel is often used by boats approaching the cove from the east side or the head of Dunmanus Bay. This 120-metre wide cut is situated to the north of Owen's Island and has at least a depth of 2.6 metres. It is skirted by rocks on either side and although frequently used by local vessels it presents an unnecessarily dangerous approach path for a stranger to take.



The inner harbour is ringed by rocks that encroach from the shore so keep well off at all times. By contrast, these rocks and reefs that effectively encircle the inner harbour, add to its protection.

Haven location Anchor according to draft about a hundred metres to the south of Ahakista Pier. The head of the cove is most likely to be too full of small-boat moorings to be serviceable.

Land by dinghy at Ahakista Pier. The pier almost entirely dries except for its outer end where less than 0.5 metres can be found. A few fishing vessels operate from here but there may be room for a yacht to come alongside for a short period or to dry out near the shore.


Why visit here?
Kitchen Cove is a small, deep and well-sheltered harbour that has the small hamlet of Ahakista at its head. Ahakista, in Irish Atha Ciste is little more than a scattering of houses in a pretty wooded coastal area around Ahakista House. It has a tiny primary school, church, a small shop and a sheltered pier that is home to a handful of local fishing boats.

Traces of the area’s ancient history can be found immediately above on the Rossnacaheragh headland where there are the remains of a large and impressive ring fort. It is the fort that provides the area with its name, in Irish Ros na Cathrach that means ‘headland of the fort’. A short walk from the pier, the fort built in 1836 is situated in a field near St. Patrick’s church, and directly opposite the small school. Although now covered in briars and primroses, or even bluebells on occasions, it was well-constructed as its steep banks and deep ditch are still intact and in excellent condition. The ancient fort holds a wonderfully secluded but still commanding position as it looks down over a small valley and out over Dunmanus Bay.

It is this landscape that provides a good reason for coming to Kitchen Cove as the safe harbour provides an ideal entry point onto the Sheep's Head Way. This 88 km long trail follows old tracks and roads around the peninsula from Bantry to the headland and back. The route combines low and rugged hills with the coastline cliffs, where the narrowness of the peninsula means that walkers are never far from glorious views out over the Atlantic Ocean or Dunmanus and Bantry Bays. The terrain is varied and includes quiet country roads, open grassy and heathery hills, rocks, fields, and the occasional short stretch of woodland path. The full trek takes a walker past many interesting structures, the remains of copper mines, stone circles, tower houses, standing stones, a famine graveyard, a Napoleonic signal tower and old churches that relate to the vibrant history of this wild coastline. It is well marked and very straightforward and the walk is divided into eight stages each representing half a day’s walk. Situated halfway up the bay and offering a well-protected harbour Kitchen Cove provides the ideal access point for the Sheep's Head Way. Those who want a short taste of the experience will find one of the stages, up and over the spine of the peninsula with views over Bantry Bay, is a loop that starts and ends at Ahakista.

By contrast a very unusual feature of the harbour area is the Memorial Garden & Sundial that is built on Illaunacusha on the eastern side of the harbour. The origin of the sundial goes back to 8.13 am on Sunday, June 23, 1985. At that moment a terrorist bomb detonated on an Air India jumbo jet flying from Canada to India which was approaching the southwest coast of Ireland. A total of 329 people died and most of these were Canadian citizens of Indian origin. In the days that followed a huge search was carried out by ships, planes and helicopters but less than half the bodies were ever recovered. Shortly afterwards, many relatives of the dead flew from India and Canada and travelled by bus along the coast to be near to the place where their loved ones died. At Ahakista, they stopped and threw wreaths into the sea and expressed a wish that some type of memorial is erected to commemorate the disaster. One year later, on the 23rd June 1986, the memorial garden was officially opened at a ceremony that was attended by the Foreign Ministers of Ireland, India and Canada. A sundial designed by a sculptor from Cork is the focal point of the garden. It is designed so that its shadow touches a precise point at 8.13 am on June 23 every year. The inscription on the sundial reads “Time flies, suns rise, shadows fall, let it pass by, love reigns forever overall”. A commemoration service is held each year at the memorial on 23rd June at 08.00.

Kitchen Cove is truly a wonderful sailing haven. It would be remiss of a sailor undertaking a comprehensive cruise of southern Ireland to overlook this haven and the adjacent Dunmanus harbour. It is the ideal place to come and relax in one of its two quiet old pubs where boatmen can quietly sip a pint looking over their vessels. It should also be noted that every August Bank Holiday weekend the village hosts the Ahakista Regatta where the pubs and restaurants come alive with traditional music and entertainment.

From a boating point of view, Kitchen Cove is a very good anchorage. Although it may not be the best protected anchorage in Dunmanus Bay, Dunmanus and Dunbeacon offer slightly better protection, it is truly a beautiful tranquil setting that unlike the others has the essential bars and restaurants immediately ashore and much more good sailing company.


What facilities are available?
The only facilities available in Kitchen Cove are at Ahakista where fresh water and electricity are available at the pier and a basic provisions store, a post box, two bars and restaurant are located in the village. A Wi-Fi service is available in the harbour.

For other services e.g. doctor, chemist, bank and post office use Bantry 20 km (12 miles) away. There is a bus service to Bantry three days per week, and the nearest major airport is Cork Airport.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored in Kitchen Cove.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks to Sheepsheadplaces.net, Pam Brophy, Emma Cooney, Andrew Wood, Burke Corbett and Andy Stephenson.


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Aerial views of Kitchen Cove




Aerial views of the coast approaching Kitchen Cove



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