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White Bay

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Overview





White Bay is situated on the south coast of Ireland and immediately within the entrance to Cork Harbour. It offers an anchorage off a secluded beach.

White Bay is situated on the south coast of Ireland and immediately within the entrance to Cork Harbour. It offers an anchorage off a secluded beach.

Set inside the neck of Cork Harbour, and on its eastern shoreline, the bay offers good protection from any condition with an easterly component. Safe access is assured in all reasonable conditions by Cork Harbour, one of the most easily approached and well-marked harbours in the world.



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Keyfacts for White Bay



Last modified
June 30th 2020

Summary

A good location with safe access.

Facilities
Pleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



HM  +353 21 4273125      info@portofcork.ie     portofcork.ie/      Ch.12, 14, 16 [Cork Harbour Radio]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 48.290' N, 008° 15.150' W

This is set in about 3 metres in the middle of the bay.

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 that are 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. Use the directions provided for Cork City Marina Click to view haven for the entry and run up through Cork Harbour.


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 White Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Crosshaven - 1.1 miles W
  2. Spike Island - 1.5 miles NW
  3. Ringabella Bay - 1.7 miles SW
  4. Aghada - 1.8 miles NNE
  5. Cuskinny - 1.9 miles N
  6. Drake’s Pool - 1.9 miles W
  7. Cobh - 1.9 miles NNW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.4 miles NW
  9. East Ferry Marina - 2.5 miles NNE
  10. Robert's Cove - 2.7 miles SSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Crosshaven - 1.1 miles W
  2. Spike Island - 1.5 miles NW
  3. Ringabella Bay - 1.7 miles SW
  4. Aghada - 1.8 miles NNE
  5. Cuskinny - 1.9 miles N
  6. Drake’s Pool - 1.9 miles W
  7. Cobh - 1.9 miles NNW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.4 miles NW
  9. East Ferry Marina - 2.5 miles NNE
  10. Robert's Cove - 2.7 miles SSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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What's the story here?
White Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


White Bay is located immediately within the entrance to Cork Harbour, on its eastern side and about ¾ of a mile north of Roches Point. It offers an attractive rural anchorage with a sandy beach. When the tide is out there is an extensive sandy beach but when the tide is in, particularly on Springs, the sand is nearly completely covered.

Set within the mouth of the harbour and under steep cliffs, the anchorage offers excellent easterly protection with ample water and good holding.


How to get in?
White Bay is on the eastern shore of the entrance less than a mile north of
Roches Point Lighthouse

Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overviews Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location or Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location as appropriate for seaward approaches. Directions for entry and run up through Cork Harbour are provided in the Cork City Marina Click to view haven entry.


No.3 starboard buoy as seen from above Roaches Point
Image: Michael Harpur


White Bay lies inside the channel leading into Cork Harbour and on the east shore less than a mile north Roches Point Lighthouse. Once within the vicinity of the No.3 starboard buoy, it is safe to turn east by northeastward for White Bay.


Yachts anchored off White Bay with Fort Davies in the backdrop
Image: Philip Bowes via CC BY-SA 2


Haven location Anchor according to draft and conditions. The 2-metre contour lies about 150 metres from the shore. Excellent sand holding will be found off the beach. Land on the beach by tender.

Land on the beach by tender
Image: Michael Harpur



Why visit here?
It is uncertain how White Bay acquired its name, presumably because of the gleaming white sands that it exposes at low water that vividly reflects the sun.


White Bay's lovely beach
Image: Michael Harpur


If this is the case it is well named. For nestled at the foot of the cliffs to the north of Roches Point it is truly a spectacular beach and one that is off the beaten path and more conveniently addressed by boat. There is no better suntrap to soak up the afternoon sun with wonderful views of Cork’s Lower Harbour, to the north, and Roche’s Point Lighthouse along with the outer Ringabella Bay coastline to the south. This remote, secluded location is also well known by rod fishermen and particularly those who like to harvest a night tide. Its best fishing is to be had in the deepwater channel about 150 metres out from the beach which is ideal for anchored boatmen to try their luck. Flatfish, Bass, Codling, Conger Eels and Dogfish plus Rays are regularly pulled in here.


Roche’s Point Lighthouse as seen from the path down to White Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


The anchorage also offers unique views of nearby Fort Davis which overlooks the anchorage from the north. Fort Davis corresponds with Fort Meagher at the opposite side of the entrance. The two forts together, set on lower harbour's entrance promontories, are dramatic features. Positioned at the narrowest point of the entrance and together with similar structures at Fort Mitchell on Spike Island, and Templebreedy Battery (also close to Fort Meagher), all would have been most effective at closing out any seaborne attack.


The formidable sight lines of Fort Meagher, Fort Mitchell (Spike Island) and
Fort Davies

Image: Michael Harpur


With such structures visible around the anchorage it will come as no surprise Cork Harbour has, throughout history, played a key naval role in protecting the western approaches to the British Isles. However, its significance was not fully realised until the mid-1700s, when the harbour was chosen as a base for the Royal Navy. These two defining outer entrance forts were, however, a late Cork Harbour military construction. The first fortifications were built to protect Cork City and were in and around the surrounds of the ancient metropolis. In the 18th-century, fortifications were built on Haulbowline Island to protect the anchorage and the garrison town of Cobh. Fort Davis, first called Fort Carlisle, and Fort Meagher, Fort Camden, were started around 1780 and constructed during the American War of Independence (1775–1783). They were then subsequently significantly strengthened after the arrival of the French fleet into Bantry Bay in 1796.


The view of Fort Carlisle from Fort Camden when it was operated by the British
Forces

Image: Public Domain


By the mid-19th-century, the defences had been renamed to Fort Carlisle, for Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle a previous Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In the 1850s, a Royal Commission gave renewed consideration to the strategic importance of the harbour and proposed enhancements to the defences at Fort Mitchell on Spike Island, Fort Camden, and Fort Carlisle. During the 1860s Fort Carlisle was then redeveloped along the lines of other 'Palmerston Forts' in the region. Convict labour was used to complete the construction of both these forts and they remained as a labour force for decades afterwards. It was not until the latter days of 1867 that the convicts were replaced by military and civilian labour.


The corresponding forts today
Image: Michael Harpur


Following the establishment of the Irish Free State, three deepwater Treaty Ports at Cork Harbour (Queenstown), Berehaven and Lough Swilly were retained by the United Kingdom in accordance with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The main reason for the retention of the ports was the U-boat Campaign around Irish coasts during World War I and the concern of the British government that it might recur. The forts were handed over to the Irish Defence Forces in 1938, and Fort Carlisle was then renamed, Fort Davis. This was in memory of Cork’s revolutionary Irish writer and poet Thomas Davis, (1814 –1845) who was the chief organiser of the Young Ireland movement. Fort Camden was also renamed Fort Meagher at this time in memory of the Irish nationalist Thomas Francis Meagher who was the leader of the Young Irelanders in the Rebellion of 1848.


Thomas Davis, (1814 –1845)
Image: Public Domain
Today the forts are known colloquially as Camden and Carlisle, and not by their official titles. Since being handed over to the Irish military most of the installations have ceased to be used for military purposes and have seen little upkeep in the ensuing decades. Fort Meagher is now being renovated and cared for by local volunteers and enthusiasts. The fort can be visited by the public on open days and is accessed by a walk from Crosshaven. Although less elaborate than Fort Meagher, Fort Davies continues to be used by the Defence Forces for FIBUA training. Though used as a fortification from the early 17th-century, Fort Davies' 74-acre site overlooking the anchorage dates primarily from the 1860s. It is not secured and in a neglected state and sadly the facility has no public access.

From a sailing point of view, White Bay offers visitors a beautifully secluded anchorage off an extensive white-sand Blue Flag beach. Needless to say for those with a family aboard this hidden local gem has to be the primary destination on a sunny summer’s afternoon. It is also an ideal location for late-arriving first-time-visitors to anchor overnight in order to address Cork’s lower harbour in daylight. Although very well marked for night navigation, the harbour is nonetheless challenging for first-time visitors owing the vast amount of markers in the lower harbour area which are hard to pick out from the lights of Cobh. White Bay makes this an unnecessary challenge during easterlies, just as the Ringabella anchorage, immediately outside the entrance, provides a useful berth during westerlies. Beyond these outer anchorages, casual anchoring in the lower harbour is difficult owing to the number of unlit moorings that will be encountered in any useful anchoring location.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at White Bay. It has road access that connects to Midleton via the R630 from Whitegate. The beach has a car park that lies adjacent to the road leading to Roche’s Point and the pathway to the beach will be found in the left-hand corner of the car park.

Cork Harbour is a major yachting centre for Ireland and as such you can get everything you need inside the lower harbour area. The main concentration of services however is a couple of miles away at Crosshaven.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to vessels at anchor at this secluded location.


With thanks to:
James O’Brien the Cork Harbour Marina owner and manager.









About White Bay

It is uncertain how White Bay acquired its name, presumably because of the gleaming white sands that it exposes at low water that vividly reflects the sun.


White Bay's lovely beach
Image: Michael Harpur


If this is the case it is well named. For nestled at the foot of the cliffs to the north of Roches Point it is truly a spectacular beach and one that is off the beaten path and more conveniently addressed by boat. There is no better suntrap to soak up the afternoon sun with wonderful views of Cork’s Lower Harbour, to the north, and Roche’s Point Lighthouse along with the outer Ringabella Bay coastline to the south. This remote, secluded location is also well known by rod fishermen and particularly those who like to harvest a night tide. Its best fishing is to be had in the deepwater channel about 150 metres out from the beach which is ideal for anchored boatmen to try their luck. Flatfish, Bass, Codling, Conger Eels and Dogfish plus Rays are regularly pulled in here.


Roche’s Point Lighthouse as seen from the path down to White Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


The anchorage also offers unique views of nearby Fort Davis which overlooks the anchorage from the north. Fort Davis corresponds with Fort Meagher at the opposite side of the entrance. The two forts together, set on lower harbour's entrance promontories, are dramatic features. Positioned at the narrowest point of the entrance and together with similar structures at Fort Mitchell on Spike Island, and Templebreedy Battery (also close to Fort Meagher), all would have been most effective at closing out any seaborne attack.


The formidable sight lines of Fort Meagher, Fort Mitchell (Spike Island) and
Fort Davies

Image: Michael Harpur


With such structures visible around the anchorage it will come as no surprise Cork Harbour has, throughout history, played a key naval role in protecting the western approaches to the British Isles. However, its significance was not fully realised until the mid-1700s, when the harbour was chosen as a base for the Royal Navy. These two defining outer entrance forts were, however, a late Cork Harbour military construction. The first fortifications were built to protect Cork City and were in and around the surrounds of the ancient metropolis. In the 18th-century, fortifications were built on Haulbowline Island to protect the anchorage and the garrison town of Cobh. Fort Davis, first called Fort Carlisle, and Fort Meagher, Fort Camden, were started around 1780 and constructed during the American War of Independence (1775–1783). They were then subsequently significantly strengthened after the arrival of the French fleet into Bantry Bay in 1796.


The view of Fort Carlisle from Fort Camden when it was operated by the British
Forces

Image: Public Domain


By the mid-19th-century, the defences had been renamed to Fort Carlisle, for Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle a previous Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In the 1850s, a Royal Commission gave renewed consideration to the strategic importance of the harbour and proposed enhancements to the defences at Fort Mitchell on Spike Island, Fort Camden, and Fort Carlisle. During the 1860s Fort Carlisle was then redeveloped along the lines of other 'Palmerston Forts' in the region. Convict labour was used to complete the construction of both these forts and they remained as a labour force for decades afterwards. It was not until the latter days of 1867 that the convicts were replaced by military and civilian labour.


The corresponding forts today
Image: Michael Harpur


Following the establishment of the Irish Free State, three deepwater Treaty Ports at Cork Harbour (Queenstown), Berehaven and Lough Swilly were retained by the United Kingdom in accordance with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The main reason for the retention of the ports was the U-boat Campaign around Irish coasts during World War I and the concern of the British government that it might recur. The forts were handed over to the Irish Defence Forces in 1938, and Fort Carlisle was then renamed, Fort Davis. This was in memory of Cork’s revolutionary Irish writer and poet Thomas Davis, (1814 –1845) who was the chief organiser of the Young Ireland movement. Fort Camden was also renamed Fort Meagher at this time in memory of the Irish nationalist Thomas Francis Meagher who was the leader of the Young Irelanders in the Rebellion of 1848.


Thomas Davis, (1814 –1845)
Image: Public Domain
Today the forts are known colloquially as Camden and Carlisle, and not by their official titles. Since being handed over to the Irish military most of the installations have ceased to be used for military purposes and have seen little upkeep in the ensuing decades. Fort Meagher is now being renovated and cared for by local volunteers and enthusiasts. The fort can be visited by the public on open days and is accessed by a walk from Crosshaven. Although less elaborate than Fort Meagher, Fort Davies continues to be used by the Defence Forces for FIBUA training. Though used as a fortification from the early 17th-century, Fort Davies' 74-acre site overlooking the anchorage dates primarily from the 1860s. It is not secured and in a neglected state and sadly the facility has no public access.

From a sailing point of view, White Bay offers visitors a beautifully secluded anchorage off an extensive white-sand Blue Flag beach. Needless to say for those with a family aboard this hidden local gem has to be the primary destination on a sunny summer’s afternoon. It is also an ideal location for late-arriving first-time-visitors to anchor overnight in order to address Cork’s lower harbour in daylight. Although very well marked for night navigation, the harbour is nonetheless challenging for first-time visitors owing the vast amount of markers in the lower harbour area which are hard to pick out from the lights of Cobh. White Bay makes this an unnecessary challenge during easterlies, just as the Ringabella anchorage, immediately outside the entrance, provides a useful berth during westerlies. Beyond these outer anchorages, casual anchoring in the lower harbour is difficult owing to the number of unlit moorings that will be encountered in any useful anchoring location.

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:
Aghada - 1.8 miles NNE
Northeast of Great Island - 3 miles NNE
East Ferry Marina - 2.5 miles NNE
Cuskinny - 1.9 miles N
Cobh - 1.9 miles NNW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Ballycotton - 5.9 miles E
Knockadoon Slip - 9.4 miles ENE
Youghal - 10.9 miles ENE
Ardmore Bay - 13.5 miles ENE
Helvick - 18.7 miles ENE

Navigational pictures


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



























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