Broadstrand Bay is a good anchorage that is well sheltered from the seaway from south round through west to northwest. The problem with the outer anchorages of Courtmacsherry Bay is that the land on the bay’s western shores is low lying and boats can be exposed to the wind. Access is straightforward as the bay is free of outlying dangers and gradually shelves up to the head of the bay.
Keyfacts for Broadstrand Bay
SummaryA good location with straightforward access.
Position and approaches
Haven position51° 37.100' N, 008° 41.600' W
In the middle of the bay in about 3 metres.
What is the initial fix?
What are the key points of the approach?
Not what you need?
- Blindstrand Bay - 0.6 nautical miles SE
- Courtmacsherry - 1.2 nautical miles NNW
- Coolmain Bay - 1.6 nautical miles NNE
- Seven Heads Bay - 1.7 nautical miles S
- Dunworly Bay - 3.3 nautical miles SW
- Holeopen Bay West - 5.3 nautical miles E
- Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 5.9 nautical miles W
- Holeopen Bay East - 6 nautical miles E
- Sandy Cove - 7.4 nautical miles ENE
- Castlepark Marina - 8.1 nautical miles NE
What's the story here?
Image: Charles McCarthy Estate Agents
Broadstrand Bay lies on the western shore of Courtmacsherry Bay that is entered between Seven Heads and the Old Head of Kinsale. The east-facing bay is ½ a mile wide and entered to the north of Quarry Point. Half of the bay dries but good depths will be found in the outer half.
In southerly quadrant winds, the best protection will be found in the adjacent Blindstrand Bay under Barry’s Point that is steep-too and offers some wind protection. Broadstrand affords good shelter from westerly and southwesterly winds but not as good as Blindstrand Bay as its southwest corner is shallow out to 180 metres from the southern shoreline. The northwest corner of the bay is however deeper closer in and the superior of the two bays during northwesterly conditions
How to get in?
Image: Michael Harpur
Use southwestern Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head for coastal planning and for Courtmacsherry Harbour for seaward approaches. The key is to pass to the Northeast of Horse Rock and after this, there are no further offshore dangers on the approach to either of these adjacent bays. From the Courtmacsherry Harbour Initial Fix, Horse and Foal Rocks will be clearly visible.
Image: The Pink Elephant
Horse Rock, and its close-lying Foal Rock, lies a ⅓ of a mile off Barry's Point and dries to 3.6 metres. It is usually visible except for at high water springs when a breaker may be expected. If uncertain of the position of Horse Rock progress a little further northward before turning to address Broadstrand Bay. At night the Wood Point Light, which provides a white sector between 315° and 332°, keeps a vessel clear of the Horse Rock and the dangers in the middle of the bay.
Image: Henry O'Leary
From the Blindstrand Initial Fix, steer westward into the bay passing to the north of Horse Rock. Then proceed to pass to the north of Quarry Point and into the bay. Closer in both Barry Point and Quarry Point have shallows extending up to 200 metres out from their visible points, so no attempt should be made to cut either headland. Once around Quarry Point the bay is deep for the outer half but then shelves abruptly and dries to its head from about halfway.
Image: Burke Corbett
Anchor according to draft in sand where good holding will be found. Land on the beach by tender.
Why visit here?Broadstrand, also known as Broad Strand, is thought to have acquired its name to differentiate it from its narrower sister Blindstrand Bay. Being about ¾ of a km by 100 metres wide Broadstrand’s beach is at least three times the size of Blindstrand Bay and it is the strand that is the singular and most attractive feature of this haven.
Image: Owen OSullivan via CC BY-SA 2.0
The beach has a hummocky surface on the upper shore, slightly indenting underfoot, which then flattens out on the lower middle shore. Here a coating of noteworthy shingle and rounded stones will be found. Broadstrand Bay’s stones are mostly granite with coloured feldspars. These pebbles and small boulders are a variety of igneous rock that was formed by intense heat or derived from solidified volcanic magma. Through the centuries have been rounded by nature and this is well evident today on a spring tide with an easterly wind. During these conditions the stones 'growling' can be heard as far away as Butlerstown.
Image: David Brookes
Clean and free from currents, plus very sheltered from prevailing south-westerly winds, it is an ideal family bathing beach. The broad lower beach has a very gentle gradient and its firm even surface makes it perfect for beach games. Fishermen will find excellent bass fishing here and in August the odd run of mackerel.
Image: David Brookes
From a boating perspective, it has a wonderful secluded natural anchorage. Being only 3½ miles north of Seven Heads, it is also an ideal quick-access 'lunch-stop', or rest-stop for the passage maker and a good tide wait location for those intending upon a visit to Courtmacsherry Harbour. Courtmacsherry may also be visited by foot from here as it is just a 20-minute walk over the hill.
What facilities are available?There is nothing available at this remote secluded bay. The village of Courtmacsherry is 1.5 km north or about a 20 minute walk and has most basic provisions, a choice of pubs and a post office.
Any security concerns?Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel in Broadstrand Bay.
With thanks to:Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photographs with thanks to Niall at the Pink Elephant,Owen O'Sullivan and Burke Corbett.
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