Protected by the nearby islands the anchorage affords good shelter and absence of swell in all reasonable conditions. The harbour is accessible at all states of the tide but attentive navigation is necessary as the approach is intricate and should only be made during favourable weather conditions. Care is also required to avoid the busy ferry and fishing boat traffic.
Keyfacts for Rutland Harbour & Island
SummaryA good location with attentive navigation required for access.
Position and approaches
Haven position54° 59.060' N, 008° 27.773' W
this is the position at the anchorage at Rutland Harbour.
What is the initial fix?
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How to get in?
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 sequenced description; vessels approaching from the north should select the southwest bound sequence; western approaches may use either description.
Rutland Harbour is a good location from which to explore this very popular tourist area, sailing between the numerous islands and channels it has the advantage of being accessible at all states of the tide via the North Channel.
To the east of Duck Island where there is a depth of 5 metres, a vessel can anchor anywhere in mid channel and be confident of finding good shelter from sea and swell. An electricity cable lies due south of the old quay on the southwest of Inishcoo and care should be taken to avoid it.
You will probably be one of only a few vessels anchored at this location, but as traffic from Burtonport is very busy, it is advisable to show a riding light at all times.
Opposite Nancy's Rock a berth in 3.5metres alongside the old quay on West Edernish Island is possible, but fenders will need to be used because of the wash from passing boats.
Rutland Island situated south of the channel opposite Inishcoo and Edernish Island, has a lovely little bay called Black Hole located east of the rear leading light beacon on Rutland Island. Although small, this bay has a good depth of 4 metres.
The main approach is through Rutland North Channel and then Rutland Harbour, but it is also possible to access it from a southern approach through Rutland South Channel. There is also an approach from the north through a very narrow channel close to the east of Inishcoo but it is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted by small boats with local knowledge.
Why visit here?The very popular sailing area south of Rosses Bay down to Burtonport contains numerous islands most of which have quays and beaches that afford a landing. Situated about half a mile west of Burtonport Harbour is Rutland Island, Irish: Inis Mhic an Doirn, also sometimes known locally as Inishmacadurn.
The island has very few permanent inhabitants, but contains several holiday homes. It was previously populated in the 18th century with a settlement being established by William Burton Conynham including a street of houses and businesses, together with the island's post office and school house, and a fish landing and processing facility. Fish catches declined heavily shortly after the construction, and finally with most services either closing down or leaving, the island eventually became permanently uninhabited in the 1960's.
Burtonport is a small fishing village on the extreme northwest mainland of County Donegal whose name is derived from the wealthy English landowner Lord Burton Conynham. He established a jetty and a few other amenities at the location and called it “Burtons Port”. At that time the infrastructure as we know it today was non-existent and the main access to the area was by sea, and the main landing port was at Rutland Island which is just opposite Burtonport.
Rutland then was the main port of call for the area and at the time it was a flourishing commercial centre where a colony of English settlers had been established on it after the plantation of Ulster in 1609. Today the island is enjoying a new lease of life, with some of the descendants of the original island families renovating their old homes with the help of the Donegal Islands Trust.
Rutland Island holds memories of many historic events, such as the landing of Napper Tandy and the French forces at the beginning of the 1798 rising, but today the island is being developed mainly towards the tourist industry with amenities for small pleasure craft. A recent development of a wind farm has added a new dimension to the landscape.
The island is described as most attractive, accessible but quiet, whose main feature must be its magnificent beach running the length of its west side which is absolutely worth a visit if sailing in the area. There are no facilities on the island, and although mains electricity reached it in 1957, to date it does not have mains water.
What facilities are available?There are no facilties at this location. The nearest haven for provisions is Burtonport half a mile to the east on the mainland.
With thanks to:inyourfootsteps.com site research. Photography with thanks to Rossographer, Joseph Mischyshyn, Malcolm Hurley Mills, Kenneth Allen and Celia Ferguson.
The following video presents excellent footage of the north Rutland channel going into Burtonport.
The following video presents a photo montage of the stunning scenery around Rutland Island. The person who posted the video has composed a fairly bleak poem to accompany it but the Island looks well worth a visit.
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