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Aghada is situated on the south coast of Ireland within and on the east side of Cork’s extensive natural harbour. It is possible to anchor, pick up a mooring or come alongside the pontoon at high water, when tenders will find enough water to land at all stages of the tide.

Aghada is situated on the south coast of Ireland within and on the east side of Cork’s extensive natural harbour. It is possible to anchor, pick up a mooring or come alongside the pontoon at high water, when tenders will find enough water to land at all stages of the tide.

Being on the southeast corner of the harbour, the anchorage offers good protection from all southerly and easterly winds. Outside of this, the Lower Harbour is landlocked and rarely subject to any big seaway, except in developed conditions from other quadrants from the west round to northwest. In these conditions the extensive fetch will make it uncomfortable, and a choice of more suitable locations within a short distance will be available elsewhere in the harbour area. Safe access is assured in all reasonable conditions by Cork Harbour, one of the most easily approached, well-marked and safest natural harbours in the world.



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Keyfacts for Aghada



Last modified
September 25th 2020

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with safe access.

Facilities
Petrol available alongsideTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsJetty or a structure to assist landingNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier



HM  +353 21 4273125      info@portofcork.ie      Ch.12, 14, 16
Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 50.755' N, 008° 12.575' W

This is the position of the head of Aghada pier. The area around the pier is shallow and vessels carrying any draught will need to stand well out.

What is the initial fix?

The following Cork Harbour initial will set up a final approach:
51° 46.580' N, 008° 15.460' W
This waypoint is a mile out from the entrance and near the Outflow Marker Fl.Y.20s. It is set on the alignment of 354° T of the Dogsnose leading lights situated on the east side of Cork Harbour entrance. This waypoint sets up an east channel approach, but a vessel may alter course to and enter via the west channel.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southeastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the southwest are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location. The run-up to the East Channel is best described in the East Ferry Marina Click to view haven entry, with Aghada about two miles from the Westgate terminal.


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 Aghada for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. East Ferry Marina - 0.8 miles N
  2. Northeast of Great Island - 1.3 miles N
  3. Cuskinny - 1.3 miles WNW
  4. White Bay - 1.8 miles SSW
  5. Spike Island - 1.9 miles W
  6. Cobh - 2 miles W
  7. Crosshaven - 2.6 miles SW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.8 miles W
  9. Glenbrook - 2.9 miles W
  10. Drake’s Pool - 3.2 miles WSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. East Ferry Marina - 0.8 miles N
  2. Northeast of Great Island - 1.3 miles N
  3. Cuskinny - 1.3 miles WNW
  4. White Bay - 1.8 miles SSW
  5. Spike Island - 1.9 miles W
  6. Cobh - 2 miles W
  7. Crosshaven - 2.6 miles SW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.8 miles W
  9. Glenbrook - 2.9 miles W
  10. Drake’s Pool - 3.2 miles WSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search



What's the story here?
Aghada pier, situated on the southeastern side of Cork's Lower Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Aghada is the parish name for the area located on the southeastern side of Cork's Lower Harbour. It comprises several small villages and townlands, including Saleen, Scartleigh, Rostellan, Farsid, Upper Aghada, Lower Aghada, Whitegate, Guileen and Ballinrostig. Of these, it is most noted for its natural gas power station and its pier, which extends from the south shore a mile eastward of the power station at Lower Aghada. The pier is about 110 metres long and 3.5 metres wide, and has a single streetlight near the northern end.


Lower Aghada Pier
Image: Michael Harpur


The area offers an anchorage clear of the fairway and local moorings. The immediate area around the pier is shallow, with pontoons wrapping around the head having a depth alongside of 0.6 metres LAT. As such, vessels carrying any draught should be prepared to stand out a distance. There are no harbour dues in Cork Harbour.

There are a number of visitor moorings available near to the pier. Boats that can take to the bottom are welcome to stay overnight alongside the pontoon, where at half-tide it is possible to find more than 2 metres alongside. The overnight charge is €10 [2020], payable at the Pier Garage Service Station or Rosies's Pepperstack Bistro. Boats may not be left on the pier or alongside without prior permission.


How to get in?
Lower Aghada Pier, on the eastern side of Cork's Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use the East Ferry Marina Click to view haven entry for the run-up to the East Channel. Aghada is about 2 miles from the Westgate terminal.

Once abreast of the A2 Starboard Hand Marker, prepare to berth. Vessels carrying any draught should prepare to stand out about ⅓ mile from the pier.

A2 Starboard Buoy – Fl(2)G.10s, position: 51° 50.950’N 008° 12.695’W

The best anchoring position for deeper draught vessels is adjacent to the starboard side of the East Channel. Between 2.4 and 3.5 metres will be found in the area about 200 metres west from the marker, with excellent mud holding.

Progressing east from the East Channel sees the inner bay area stepping up quickly. The best water for moderate draught vessels will be found between the A2 Starboard Hand Mark and the head of the pier. Depths varying between 1.2 and 1.4 metres LAT can be obtained here. Outside of this the eastern section of the Lower Harbour tends to be very shallow at low water.


The pontoon extending along the inner side of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor off, pick up moorings or come alongside as desired. In all cases, land on the seasonal pontoon superstructure. This extends in a 'U' shape 14 metres out from the northmost point of the pier and then extends for an additional 20 metres along the inner/eastern side of the pier. There is also a slipway at the foot of the pier.


Why visit here?
Aghada’s name is derived from the Gaelic Áth Fhada, which means 'long ford'.


Most of the pier seen today dates back to a 1970s refurbishment
Image: Michael Harpur


Lower Town’s pier was originally a modest affair, with a small structure first built here in 1830. The subsequent famine years brought about many infrastructure works that provided employment and income to relieve the suffering. But despite the best efforts of local politicians and religious figures calling for the development of the pier, it remained unchanged throughout this period. The impetus for the larger-scale Aghada pier was to come in preparation for Queen Victoria's 11-day post-famine Ireland visit. It was completed for her arrival in 1849, with the intention of supporting a subsequent steamboat service. From Cobh, renamed Queenstown in her honour, royal yacht Victoria and Albert sailed the scenic journey through Cork Harbour, passing waterside villages including Aghada, where the Irish people gave a warm welcome.

Victoria receiving a warm welcome from the Irish people
Image: National Library of Ireland on The Commons


The steamboat service began in the 1850s with a vessel calling every Tuesday during the summer. Coal and sand were occasionally dropped, and it was used by small cargo vessels to convey other commodities to the quays in Cork City. Steamers Audrey and Mabel, known locally as the Greenboats, carried passengers between Aghada, Queenstown, Passage West and Cork, as well as goods from Cloyne, Ballycotton and beyond. The service continued until the 1930s, when road transport improvements rendered it obsolete. But during the seminal years of this remarkable service, Lower Aghada was a hub for east Cork.


The Queen's royal yacht at the time
Image: National Library of Ireland on The Commons


Aghada’s most prominent place in history was towards the latter end of this period, when in May 1917 the US Naval Air Service arrived to establish a seaplane base. At the time, Ireland had four American air bases – Aghada, Whiddy Island, Wexford and Lough Foyle. The forces also operated a kite balloon detachment at Berehaven, mostly flown aboard the US battleship division based in Bantry Bay. Only fully established in September 1918, and operated under British military command, the base stretched the length of the shore between Aghada and Whitegate, and was the most important US naval air station in Europe. The American aircrews performed anti-submarine patrols out over the Atlantic, most likely using Curtiss H-16s. These seaplanes had been introduced in 1917 and were armed with six machine-guns, with a bomb payload of 920lb (416kg).


Curtiss H-16
Image: CC0


Very little remains of the Lower Aghada seaplane base today. Aghada’s combined sailing and tennis club stands on a key part of the site, while the apron that was used by the seaplanes is still visible running into the water. Two very overgrown gate piers can be seen nearby, bearing the distinct inscriptions 'US Navy' on one and 'Airbase' on the other. Nearby Subroan House was used by the officers during this period, while the Royal Munster Fusiliers (Reserves) were garrisoned in Aghada. William Cosgrove, a First World War recipient of the Victoria Cross, is buried in Upper Aghada’s Presbyterian cemetery.


Children making the best of the pontoon that extends from the head of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Aghada is a small fishing town and is perhaps most famous for its highly conspicuous power station. The discovery of natural gas off the Cork Coast in 1971 led to the construction of the station. Built between 1978 and 1980, it is the third-largest power station in the Republic of Ireland, producing up to 1 gigawatt by burning natural gas and diesel.


The protected creek around the pier is now a nature reserve
Image: Michael Harpur


The waters around the pier are now a protected wildlife reserve that is home to various ducks, including tufted, wigeon, teal and water rail, which can be heard calling from the reeds. Four species of grebe, guillemots and other auks can be seen around the pier, if more so in winter. Great northern divers, red breasted mergansers and the ubiquitous gulls are common in this area, with Whitegate Bay hosting the largest gathering of Mediterranean gulls in Ireland.


Aghada provides a quiet out-of-the-way berth in Cork Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


From a sailing perspective, Aghada is a popular landing area for shopping essentials. Fuel by jerry is immediately available from the service station situated on the foot of the pier. It is also a nice, quiet out-of-the-way berth in this wonderful harbour.


What facilities are available?
The slipway at Aghada, situated at the root of the pier, is the only usable public slip on the eastern side of Cork Harbour. Likewise, amongst all the berths available in Cork Harbour, the garage at the root of the pier is the only place to obtain fuel within the harbour area without having to transport it on public roads. Hence it is the best location for those who need to top up an outboard motor.

The village has basic shopping, and (pre-COVID) a good pub with a particularly good restaurant, making it a popular destination for local leisure craft. The village is situated on the R630 road about 9.6km (6 miles) from the town of Midleton and 3.2km (2 miles) from the village of Whitegate.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue is known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Aghada.


With thanks to:
Eddie English, Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner Dinghy & Powerboat Trainer at sailcork.com.



About Aghada

Aghada’s name is derived from the Gaelic Áth Fhada, which means 'long ford'.


Most of the pier seen today dates back to a 1970s refurbishment
Image: Michael Harpur


Lower Town’s pier was originally a modest affair, with a small structure first built here in 1830. The subsequent famine years brought about many infrastructure works that provided employment and income to relieve the suffering. But despite the best efforts of local politicians and religious figures calling for the development of the pier, it remained unchanged throughout this period. The impetus for the larger-scale Aghada pier was to come in preparation for Queen Victoria's 11-day post-famine Ireland visit. It was completed for her arrival in 1849, with the intention of supporting a subsequent steamboat service. From Cobh, renamed Queenstown in her honour, royal yacht Victoria and Albert sailed the scenic journey through Cork Harbour, passing waterside villages including Aghada, where the Irish people gave a warm welcome.

Victoria receiving a warm welcome from the Irish people
Image: National Library of Ireland on The Commons


The steamboat service began in the 1850s with a vessel calling every Tuesday during the summer. Coal and sand were occasionally dropped, and it was used by small cargo vessels to convey other commodities to the quays in Cork City. Steamers Audrey and Mabel, known locally as the Greenboats, carried passengers between Aghada, Queenstown, Passage West and Cork, as well as goods from Cloyne, Ballycotton and beyond. The service continued until the 1930s, when road transport improvements rendered it obsolete. But during the seminal years of this remarkable service, Lower Aghada was a hub for east Cork.


The Queen's royal yacht at the time
Image: National Library of Ireland on The Commons


Aghada’s most prominent place in history was towards the latter end of this period, when in May 1917 the US Naval Air Service arrived to establish a seaplane base. At the time, Ireland had four American air bases – Aghada, Whiddy Island, Wexford and Lough Foyle. The forces also operated a kite balloon detachment at Berehaven, mostly flown aboard the US battleship division based in Bantry Bay. Only fully established in September 1918, and operated under British military command, the base stretched the length of the shore between Aghada and Whitegate, and was the most important US naval air station in Europe. The American aircrews performed anti-submarine patrols out over the Atlantic, most likely using Curtiss H-16s. These seaplanes had been introduced in 1917 and were armed with six machine-guns, with a bomb payload of 920lb (416kg).


Curtiss H-16
Image: CC0


Very little remains of the Lower Aghada seaplane base today. Aghada’s combined sailing and tennis club stands on a key part of the site, while the apron that was used by the seaplanes is still visible running into the water. Two very overgrown gate piers can be seen nearby, bearing the distinct inscriptions 'US Navy' on one and 'Airbase' on the other. Nearby Subroan House was used by the officers during this period, while the Royal Munster Fusiliers (Reserves) were garrisoned in Aghada. William Cosgrove, a First World War recipient of the Victoria Cross, is buried in Upper Aghada’s Presbyterian cemetery.


Children making the best of the pontoon that extends from the head of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Aghada is a small fishing town and is perhaps most famous for its highly conspicuous power station. The discovery of natural gas off the Cork Coast in 1971 led to the construction of the station. Built between 1978 and 1980, it is the third-largest power station in the Republic of Ireland, producing up to 1 gigawatt by burning natural gas and diesel.


The protected creek around the pier is now a nature reserve
Image: Michael Harpur


The waters around the pier are now a protected wildlife reserve that is home to various ducks, including tufted, wigeon, teal and water rail, which can be heard calling from the reeds. Four species of grebe, guillemots and other auks can be seen around the pier, if more so in winter. Great northern divers, red breasted mergansers and the ubiquitous gulls are common in this area, with Whitegate Bay hosting the largest gathering of Mediterranean gulls in Ireland.


Aghada provides a quiet out-of-the-way berth in Cork Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


From a sailing perspective, Aghada is a popular landing area for shopping essentials. Fuel by jerry is immediately available from the service station situated on the foot of the pier. It is also a nice, quiet out-of-the-way berth in this wonderful harbour.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Northeast of Great Island - 1.3 miles N
East Ferry Marina - 0.8 miles N
Cuskinny - 1.3 miles WNW
Cobh - 2 miles W
Cork City Marina - 6.1 miles WNW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
White Bay - 1.8 miles SSW
Ballycotton - 4.8 miles E
Knockadoon Slip - 8 miles ENE
Youghal - 9.3 miles ENE
Ardmore Bay - 12 miles ENE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Aghada.



























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