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Rathlin O'Birne Island

Tides and tools
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.


Rathlin O'Birne Island is a tiny rocky island located in the North Atlantic Ocean a mile west of Malin Beg Head on the west coast of Ireland. It offers an anchorage north of the islands southeast corner with the opportunity of a dinghy landing at steps on the east side of the island, or on to a stoney beach in a sheltered bay in the northeast.

The shelter at the recommended anchorage is generally tolerable but is dependent on favourable weather and tidal conditions, whilst the daylight access requires attentive navigation taking care to avoid unchartered rocks and a rocky shoal.
Please note

Caution should be taken regarding unchartered rocks that exist along the coast off the mainland between White Strand Bay and Carrigan Head. In the Sound the tide runs north strongly for nine hours out of twelve.




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Keyfacts for Rathlin O'Birne Island
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: strong to overwhelming tides in the locality

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
5 metres (16.4 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
May 30th 2017

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: strong to overwhelming tides in the locality



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 39.868' N, 008° 49.430' W

this is the position at the landing steps on the east side of the island.

What is the initial fix?

The following Rathlin O will set up a final approach:
54° 41.097' N, 008° 49.322' W
this is the position in the North Atlantic Ocean midway between Rathlin O'Birne Island and Malin More Head.



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 Rathlin O'Birne Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Malin Beg Bay - 0.8 miles E
  2. White Strand Bay - 1 miles E
  3. Glen Bay - 2.3 miles NE
  4. Teelin - 4.4 miles ESE
  5. Killybegs - 8.3 miles E
  6. Dawros Bay - 8.6 miles NE
  7. Inishmurray - 9.4 miles SSE
  8. Church Pool & Portnoo - 10.5 miles NE
  9. Mullaghmore - 11 miles SE
  10. Brown Bay - 12.9 miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Malin Beg Bay - 0.8 miles E
  2. White Strand Bay - 1 miles E
  3. Glen Bay - 2.3 miles NE
  4. Teelin - 4.4 miles ESE
  5. Killybegs - 8.3 miles E
  6. Dawros Bay - 8.6 miles NE
  7. Inishmurray - 9.4 miles SSE
  8. Church Pool & Portnoo - 10.5 miles NE
  9. Mullaghmore - 11 miles SE
  10. Brown Bay - 12.9 miles SSE
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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 'Erris Head to Malin Head' coastal description provides approach information to the suggested initial fix. Vessels approaching from the south should select the northeast bound Route location sequenced description; vessels approaching from the north should select the southwest bound Route location sequence; western approaches may use either description.


Why visit here?
Rathlin O’Birne is a small uninhabited low-lying grassy island with a lighthouse, indented all round with channels, and bisected by a sea arch in its northern part. It is also the westernmost point of County Donegal and should not be confused with the Rathlin Island off the coast of County Antrim.

It is not clear how the island came by its name, but it appears to have been associated with someone or some group (clan) named Birn, but there are no official records to confirm whether or not they were locals or came from elsewhere in Ireland. One historical fact is clear, that Saint Patrick's coppersmith and the first Bishop of Elfin, Saint Asicus, came to Rathlin O'Birne Island where he lived as a hermit for seven years until some monks came and rescued him.

Rathlin O'Birne Sound, the deep water passage on the east side of the island, has a navigable width of 0.5 mile between the mainland and the island and is the normal entrance from the north into Donegal Bay. In the Sound the tide runs north strongly for nine hours out of twelve and runs south weakly for the other three, but it is not strong. The bold promontory comprising Malin Beg and Malin More Heads, despite its position and exposure, is one of the less challenging of the western headlands.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at this location.


With thanks to:
inyourfootsteps.com site research. Photography with thanks to Carsten Clasohm, Tobias Senger and Ben Brooksbank


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.







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.