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Coolmain Bay

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Overview





Coolmain Bay is located on the south coast of Ireland about twenty miles southwest of Cork Harbour and in the northeast corner of Courtmacsherry Bay. It offers a convenient anchorage for those awaiting a tide to enter Courtmacsherry.

Coolmain Bay is located on the south coast of Ireland about twenty miles southwest of Cork Harbour and in the northeast corner of Courtmacsherry Bay. It offers a convenient anchorage for those awaiting a tide to enter Courtmacsherry.

Although mostly used as a tide wait location, Coolmain Bay is a good anchorage in its own right that is well sheltered from the west round through north to east. Access at any stage of the tide is straightforward night or day as the bay has the benefits of the Courtmacsherry Harbour navigation lights.



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Keyfacts for Coolmain Bay
Facilities
Pleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tender

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 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 30th 2021

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Pleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tender

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 38.480' N, 008° 40.420' W

This is about a third of a mile to the northwest of the Courtmacsherry starboard marker and in the middle of the bay where about 2 metres will be found.

What is the initial fix?

The following Courtmacsherry initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 36.615' N, 008° 39.040' W
This is half a mile east of Horse Rock and between it and Black Tom. It is set in the middle of the white sector of the Wood Point light. A course of 325° for 2 miles will take a vessel to the entrance.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location, approach directions as with Courtmacsherry Harbour Click to view haven.


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 Coolmain Bay for your convenience.
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Courtmacsherry - 0.9 miles WSW
  2. Broadstrand Bay - 1 miles SSW
  3. Blindstrand Bay - 1.2 miles S
  4. Seven Heads Bay - 2 miles SSW
  5. Dunworly Bay - 3 miles SW
  6. Holeopen Bay West - 3 miles ESE
  7. Holeopen Bay East - 3.4 miles ESE
  8. Sandy Cove - 3.8 miles ENE
  9. Castlepark Marina - 4.2 miles ENE
  10. Kinsale Harbour - 4.2 miles ENE
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?
Coolmain Bay as seen from the west
Image: Michael Harpur


Coolmain Bay sits in the northeast corner of Courtmacsherry Bay fronting the entrance of Courtmacsherry Harbour. Entered between Wood Point and Coolmain Point and on the approaches to Courtmacsherry it extends about ¾ of a mile northward.


Coolmain Bay beach defences
Image: Niall at the Pink Elephant External link


Although mostly used as a tide wait location, Coolmain Bay is a good anchorage in its own right. The gradually shelving bay is well sheltered, from the west round through north to east, and is of itself clear of outlying dangers.


How to get in?
Coolmain Bay as seen from south by southwest
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use the details available in southwestern Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for seaward approaches. Directions for Courtmacsherry Harbour Click to view haven serve for Coolmain Bay as it lies immediately outside the estuary of the harbour's Argideen River.


Coolmain Bay as seen from the east
Image: Niall at the Pink Elephant External link


Initial fix location From the initial fix plot a course towards Wood Point. Coolmain Bay is situated in a bight in the northwest corner of Courtmacsherry Bay between Wood Point, Coolmain Point and Lisheen Point.

Coolmain Point with the Old Head of Kinsale in the backdrop
Image: Niall at the Pink Elephant External link


Coolmine Bay is situated to the northeast of the Courtmacsherry buoy moored off a spit extending from the north shore. Proceed from it into the bay which is free of outlying dangers.


Coolmain Bay
Image: Niall at the Pink Elephant External link


Haven location Sound in and anchor according to draft and conditions in the bay. The bay gradually shelves up to a line drawn eastward of Lisheen Point above which it dries. Land on the beach or, with the benefit of a stalwart outboard, at Coutmacsherry.


Why visit here?
Coolmain derives its name from the Irish name 'Cùl-meadhon'. 'Cùl, cùil' or 'cùiltean' all mean 'back of the', and 'meadhon', means 'middle hill'. So the name means 'back of the middle hill' which aptly describes it to this day.


Coolmain Bay at sunset
Image: Niall at the Pink Elephant External link


The crenellated towers of the castle that can be seen overlooking the bay have an interesting connection to a 'magic kingdom'. It was originally built in the early 15th-century by the De Courcy family who lost it in the following century to the MacCarthy Reaghs, the Princes of Desmond. Over the years it passed through the hands of a number of families including that of the Earls of Cork before it was taken by Oliver Cromwell in the middle of the 17th-century.

Coolmain Castle overlooking the bay from the east
Image: Brian Madden
The house was added in 1792 and then received many later additions and wings. The pair of square-plan three and four-stage crenellated towers were only added in the 19th-century when it was the home of the Honourable Henry Boyle Bernard, third son of the 2nd Earl of Bandon, who owned over a thousand acres in county Cork.

In the following century, it was owned by a popular Irish-American novelist and poet Don Byrne. Although he was a New Yorker, his wife, Dolly Cadogan, was formally from the area. He sold it to the Hollywood photographer Bob Willoughby who carried out extensive refurbishments to the property. In the late 1980s the Nephew of Walt Disney, Roy Disney, bought Coolmain Castle bringing the 'magic kingdom' connection.

It is thought Disney paid nearly half a million punts on the original purchase and then lavished millions of dollars on making it a thoroughly modern and ultra-comfortable home. Today it is a home of 10,000 square feet with nine bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a separate three-bedroom residence for caretakers all on 40 acres. Roy retreated here with his wife, four children, and 16 grandchildren on a regular basis. He was also a world-class sailor and competitively raced his 86-foot sloop up until his passing in December 2009.


Coolmain Cottage overlooking the beach on the eastern side
Image: Niall at the Pink Elephant External link


Coolmain Bay’s main use from a boating perspective is that of a Courtmacsherry tide-wait location. It is, of itself, an excellent, convenient and all-tide anchorage in northerly conditions and should not be overlooked.


What facilities are available?
There are no services available in this remote secluded bay except for The Pink Elephant fine food restaurant overlooking the bay from Lisheen Point. Within the river, the village of Courtmacsherry offers 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 Coolmain Bay. The Pink Elephant restaurant mounted a live Coolmaine Bay webcam to enable the bay to be seen remotely.


With thanks to:
Gareth Thomas, Yacht Jalfrezi. Photographs with thanks to Rob O'Connor and Niall at the Pink Elephant.

























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