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Inisheer

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Overview





The Arran Island group are situated on the west coast of Ireland extending for fourteen miles across the middle of the entrance to Galway Bay. Inisheer is the eastern and southernmost island of the three main islands and its north strand, close to the main harbour, offers the best anchoring position. On occasion, it may be possible to temporarily come alongside the islands main pier.

The north stand makes for a tolerable anchorage with protection from southwesterly conditions but it is entirely exposed to any northerly condition and subject to swell. Access is straightforward at all stages of the tide.



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Keyfacts for Inisheer
Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBicycle hire available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2.5 metres (8.2 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
July 19th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBicycle hire available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 4.103' N, 009° 31.343' W

This is the pierhead on Inisheer

What is the initial fix?

The following Inisheer North Strand Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
53° 4.390' N, 009° 31.338' W
This is 600 metres north of the pier on Inisheer.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in western Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Loop Head to Slyne Head Route location.


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 Inisheer for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Inishmaan - 1.8 miles NW
  2. Doolin Pier (Ballaghaline Quay) - 3.3 miles SE
  3. Kilronan - 3.7 miles WNW
  4. Fanore Bay - 5.3 miles ENE
  5. Liscannor Bay - 5.7 miles SSE
  6. Rossaveal - 7.5 miles N
  7. Sruthan Quay - 7.7 miles N
  8. Kiggaul Bay - 7.8 miles NW
  9. Spiddle - 8.1 miles NE
  10. Greatman's Bay - 8.4 miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Inishmaan - 1.8 miles NW
  2. Doolin Pier (Ballaghaline Quay) - 3.3 miles SE
  3. Kilronan - 3.7 miles WNW
  4. Fanore Bay - 5.3 miles ENE
  5. Liscannor Bay - 5.7 miles SSE
  6. Rossaveal - 7.5 miles N
  7. Sruthan Quay - 7.7 miles N
  8. Kiggaul Bay - 7.8 miles NW
  9. Spiddle - 8.1 miles NE
  10. Greatman's Bay - 8.4 miles NNW
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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How to get in?
Inisheer or, in Irish, Inis Oírr as seen from the east
Image: Tourism Ireland


Measuring just two miles in length, from east to west, and is about 1.25 miles wide Inisheer is the smallest of the three Arran islands. At its highest part, it is 59 metres above the sea where there stands the ruin of a telegraph tower plus the ruins of an ancient castle nearby. Its shores are rocky everywhere except on the northeast side where there is a small sandy beach called the North Strand with a pier.


View of Inisheer from the anchoring area
Image: Terry Ballard


Haven location Anchor according to draft over a sandy bottom. It provides shelter from southwest winds and should only be used in fine weather. It may be possible to temporarily come alongside the islands 120-metre long pier if it is not being used by ferries or fishing vessels. It has 2.5 metres at its head.

Inisheer's Pier
Image: Michael Harpur



Why visit here?
At the entrance to Galway Bay lie three rocky limestone outcrops that make up the Aran Islands. They are a mainstay of the traditional Irish language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology, and unrivalled in their sense of history.

Each of the three islands has their own distinct character, but they all have dramatic landscapes and endless seas which form a backdrop to a labyrinth of meandering stone walls enclosing tightly packed fields, and in between narrow winding roads and grassy lanes crisscross the islands leading to beautiful beaches and craggy shores below the cliffs which mark the edge of western Europe.

Dry stone wall on Inisheer
Image: CC0


Over the centuries the islands have been an attraction for many writers and artists who have been inspired by the ancient monuments, early Christian remains, holy wells and historic lighthouses, that all add to the sense of timelessness and mystery.

Inisheer is the smallest in size of the three main Aran Islands but with a population of about 300 permanent residents, it is the second largest in terms of inhabitants. It is the most eastern of the three islands and is situated only 8 kms off the mainland coast of County Clare. It is a very beautiful island much favoured by walkers who enjoy wandering along its shores which gives the impression that you have the whole world to yourself.

Racing currachs on North Strand Inis Oírr
Image: Tourism Ireland


Inisheer has probably been inhabited for 5,000 years but the earliest evidence of civilisation is at Cnoc Raithni, a bronze age burial mound dating from 1500 BC. Nearby are Teampall Chaomhan a medieval ruined church half buried in the sand, and the 16th century Caislean Ui Bhriain, an imposing three-storey tower house built within a stone age fort.

The north of the island has pristine sandy beaches that offer the visitor the opportunity for some safe swimming in crystal clear waters together with stunning vistas of Connemara, whilst the eastern shore boasts a shipwreck and breathtaking views of the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren of County Clare.


MV Plassy, or Plassey, was wrecked on Inisheer in 1960
Image: CC0


The island has an arts and cultural centre, Aras Eanna, where you can attend workshops and exhibitions and learn all about the traditional culture; and if you visit during August you may get to see the traditional currach boat races. The island has a more recent claim to fame as "Craggy Island" in the popular television series Father Ted.


Plassey
Image: CC0


The island which is about 3 kms long and 2 kms wide has a hotel and several B & B's, a hostel, coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, a provisions shop, and bike hire and taxi services are available.


What facilities are available?
Water is available at the harbour, and at the nearby village there is a shop for provisions, a Hotel and B & B's, coffee shops, restaurants and pubs, and a bike hire shop.


With thanks to:
Mark Murray, Yacht Motivator


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