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Ballynakill Harbour

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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.


Ballynakill Harbour is a deeply indented bay located between Cleggan Point and Rinvyle Point, on the west coast of Ireland. There are a number of well protected anchorages available with lovely views of the surrounding hills. Access is completely safe and this is an excellent bay to spend a night.


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Keyfacts for Ballynakill Harbour
Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions 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 area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors 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
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: 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
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
May 30th 2017

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions 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 area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors 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
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location



Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 34.296' N, 009° 58.855' W

this is the position at Derryinver Quay

What is the initial fix?

The following Ballynakill Harbour initial fix will set up a final approach:
53° 35.533' N, 010° 9.485' W
this is the position in the North Atlantic Ocean midway between Cleggan Point and Inishboffin.



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 Ballynakill Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Cleggan Bay - 2.9 miles W
  2. Little Killary Bay (Salrock) - 3.2 miles ENE
  3. Clifden - 3.4 miles SSW
  4. Clifden Boat Club - 3.6 miles SSW
  5. Inishbofin - 5.2 miles WNW
  6. Mannin Bay - 5.3 miles SW
  7. Inishturk - 5.5 miles NNW
  8. Killary Harbour - 6.4 miles E
  9. Roundstone - 6.6 miles SSE
  10. Bertraghboy Bay - 6.7 miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Cleggan Bay - 2.9 miles W
  2. Little Killary Bay (Salrock) - 3.2 miles ENE
  3. Clifden - 3.4 miles SSW
  4. Clifden Boat Club - 3.6 miles SSW
  5. Inishbofin - 5.2 miles WNW
  6. Mannin Bay - 5.3 miles SW
  7. Inishturk - 5.5 miles NNW
  8. Killary Harbour - 6.4 miles E
  9. Roundstone - 6.6 miles SSE
  10. Bertraghboy Bay - 6.7 miles SSE
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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How to get in?
Route location The 'Slyne Head to Erris Head' coastal description provides approach information to the suggested initial fix. Vessels approaching from the south should select the northbound Route location sequenced description; vessels approaching from the north should select the southbound Route location sequence; western approaches may use either description.

Ballynakill Harbour is an open inlet off the North Atlantic Ocean situated on the north west coast of the district of Connemara in County Galway on the west coast of Ireland, near the town of Letterfrack.

The northwest facing harbour is entered between Cleggan Point and Rinvyle Point a distance of about 3.5 miles and the outer bay extends in a south easterly direction for a distance of about 2 miles towards the Freaghillaun South islet, and then onwards for a further three miles to the head of the harbour at either Derryinver Bay which is the northern fork or to Barnaderg Bay the southern fork. Ballynakill Harbour includes a number of islands such as Roeillaun (Red Island) and several small bays, and as the currents are generally weak and the shelter good it is a great location for doing some exploring.

There are many suitable places to drop anchor and the following are the more popular ones.

There is a good passage anchorage with depths of 5 to 8 metres on the east side of Freaghillaun South, a most attractive island that was inhabited until about 1930. There is some fish farming, mainly mussel beds, southeast of Freaghillaun towards Carrigeen Rocks.
The mid channel anchorage northeast of Ross Point is always accessible and gives good shelter from the west but is tide rode, with depths of 2 to 3 metres. Note that although the currents are generally weak the spring velocity in both directions may be as much as 2 knots, and also be aware of the fish cages in this area.
One of the best anchorages is at Fahy Bay, known locally as Ross Bay, the entrance to which is over the bar south southeast of Ross Point. It is best approached on a rising tide as there is only 0.3 metres over the bar at low water springs. Eight visitor moorings have been laid at this location with depths of 2 to 3 metres and the only bad wind here is a southeasterly when it can become surprisingly rough.

Passing to the north of Carrigeen and Ardagh Rocks affords entrance to Derryinver Bay where the anchorage is taken about 100 metres southwest of the pier in 2 metres depth. The quay which dries is on the north shore of the bay and has 1.5 metre depth at high water neaps on its northeast side. The pool through the narrows southeast of the quay is not recommended as the tide runs strongly and the passage is difficult. With a bit of flood water it is worth rowing up to Dawros Bridge to see the salmon jumping the rapids during June and July. In southeast winds the south side of Derryinver Bay northeast of Roeillaun islet, or in the small inlet to the south of the island which is accessible at half tide, would be a more comfortable anchorage.


Why visit here?
Ballynakill Harbour, Irish : Baile na Cille meaning 'settlement of the church', is at the far western edge of Ireland situated between the Rinvyle peninsula to the north and Cleggan Point peninsula to the south. Far from the pressure of city life it is a place of serenity and tranquility in which to enjoy the fresh sea air, the picturesque scenery and the closeness of nature. Ballynakill Harbour is one of the loveliest natural and well protected harbours in the world where you can enjoy a scenic coastal cruise, or a sea angling trip, or see a large variety of sea and cliff birds, grey seals and otters, and other freequent visitors such as dolphins and porpoises.

The Renvyle peninsula was described by Augustus John as “the most beautiful landscape in the world”, and it was the inspiration for renowned works of art by Yeats, Gogarty, and Oscar Wilde, and it remains unchanged today. Some of the romance and beauty of Renvyle has been captured in modern films such as The Quiet Man and more recently The Field. It is a landscape shaped by time and nature and its castles, ancient fort and ecclesiastical remains are reminders of an epic past.

The small village of Letterfrack, Irish : Leitir Fraic, lies at the head of Ballynakill Harbour situated about 9 miles north of Clifden on Barnaderg Bay. Dominated by Diamond Hill which is located in the Connemara National Park, Letterfrack was founded in the mid 19th century by a Quaker couple James and Mary Ellis from Bradford, England, who came to contribute to post famine relief in the area. Within a decade they had established a schoolhouse, a farm, doctors surgery, housing for workers, and planted over 40 acres of woodland most of which today is now part of Connemara National Park. The Ellis's returned to England in the late 1850's and their property was eventually purchased by the Catholic Church and developed as an industrial school. The brothers ran the school up to 1974 when it was subsequently purchased by the State and a Regional Development Company, and the industrial school complex is today a thriving centre of activity for local and regional development.

The Connemara National Park stretching from sea level at Letterfrack to some of the peaks of the Twelve Bens mountains, is enveloped by blanket bog and wet heath vegetation with characteristic and varied wildlife. The parks visitor centre is based in Letterfrack village and it is the starting point for some lovely walks, including a track all the way to the top of Diamond Hill.

Also situated in Letterfrack is the Ocean and Country Visitor Centre and Museum which is the base for Irelands only glass bottomed boat tours which sail across Ballynakill Harbour and enables visitors to see the underwater world as only seen before by divers.

Ballynakill Harbour has only limited facilities, and major re-stocking and services are more likely to be found at Clifden 9 miles away. However at Tullycross 1.5 miles from Derryinver Quay there is a small supermarket and a pub, and at Letterfrack 2.5 miles up the road there is a store for most supplies, 2 pubs, a post office, and petrol is available. Further still at Moyard there is an excellent small shop for provisions including frozen meat, also a post office, and petrol and gas refills are available.
By arrangement with the owner fresh water is available from a pump in the yard at Ross Lodge House.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities around the shoreline of this location, except fresh water is available from a pump in the yard of Ross Lodge House by arrangement with the owner.
Major restocking or other services are likely to be found at Clifden 9 miles away.
At Tullycross 1.5 miles from Derryinver Quay there is a small supermarket and a pub; and 2.5 miles away at Letterfrack there is a provisions store, two pubs, a post office, and petrol is available; whilst at Moyard there is an excellent shop for provisions, a post office, and petrol and gas refills are available.


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 Ballynakill area.


This is a video from the top of Cartron Hill which lies in the townland of Moyard,Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. The first half of the video shows Ballynakill Harbour and the second shows Cartron lake.




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.