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Sandy Cove

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Overview





Sandy Cove is situated immediately outside the entrance to Kinsale Harbour on the southwest coast of Ireland, about eleven miles southwest of the entrance to Cork Harbour and six miles north by northeast of the Old Head of Kinsale, in Co. Cork. It offers a scenic anchorage in a remote and secluded location.

Tucked into an inlet, behind a small island, Sandy Cove provides a good anchorage that is highly protected and virtually free of roll in most conditions. It is slightly open to an easterly or south-easterly which can create a chop in the cove, but adjacent Kinsale or Oyster Haven may be easily chosen for protection if such conditions arise. Daylight access to the haven is straightforward as it is located immediately west of the entrance to Kinsale Harbour and has no outlying dangers.
Please note

The singular problem with Sandy Cove is finding berthing space. On a sunny summer’s weekend, it tends to fill with yachts from Kinsale but there should be no problem on a weekday.




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Keyfacts for Sandy Cove
Facilities
Extensive shopping available in the areaSlipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periods

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 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
May 8th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Extensive shopping available in the areaSlipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periods



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 40.680' N, 008° 31.130' W

This position is in the middle of the bay on the 2.7 metre contour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Sandycove initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 40.642' N, 008° 30.722' W
This waypoint is at the outer entrance midway between Sandy Cove Island the headland of Shronecan Point.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen 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 Sandy Cove for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Kinsale Harbour - 0.9 miles N
  2. Oysterhaven - 1.7 miles ENE
  3. Holeopen Bay East - 2.3 miles S
  4. Holeopen Bay West - 2.4 miles SSW
  5. Coolmain Bay - 3.8 miles WSW
  6. Blindstrand Bay - 4.5 miles WSW
  7. Broadstrand Bay - 4.6 miles WSW
  8. Courtmacsherry - 4.7 miles WSW
  9. Seven Heads Bay - 5.3 miles SW
  10. Robert's Cove - 5.4 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kinsale Harbour - 0.9 miles N
  2. Oysterhaven - 1.7 miles ENE
  3. Holeopen Bay East - 2.3 miles S
  4. Holeopen Bay West - 2.4 miles SSW
  5. Coolmain Bay - 3.8 miles WSW
  6. Blindstrand Bay - 4.5 miles WSW
  7. Broadstrand Bay - 4.6 miles WSW
  8. Courtmacsherry - 4.7 miles WSW
  9. Seven Heads Bay - 5.3 miles SW
  10. Robert's Cove - 5.4 miles ENE
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?
Sandy Cove and Sandy Cove Island
Image: NedDenisonSandycove


Sandy Cove is a small inlet north of Sandy Cove Island and south of Shronecan Point at the entrance to Kinsale Harbour.

The entrance to Kinsale is easily identified by its Bandon River valley entrance and the old 18th-century forts that once defended it. It is located between Shronecan Point and Preghane Point, about 0.6 of a mile east-southeast. Sandy Cove is situated immediately west of the Kinsale Harbour entrance, between Shronecan Point and Sandy Cove Island, which from seaward appears to be an unremarkable hump.

Vessels should approach as if entering the centre of the mouth of Kinsale Harbour. From the west or south that would be directly towards the middle of the entrance or from the east by passing to the south of the Bulman Buoy and then rounding up. The Bulman South Cardinal Buoy marks its namesake ‘Bulman Rock’ that has 1.2 metres over it. It is situated 0.2 miles south of Preghane Point and is the primary danger outside Kinsale’s entrance.

Bulman - south cardinal buoy Q (6) + LFl 15s position: 51°40.136'N, 008°29.739'W

Initial fix location The Sandy Cove initial fix rounds on to a bearing of about 290°, then set a course for the fix between Sandy Cove Island and the mainland’s Shronecan Point and continue directly up the inlet taking a central course. The neck is about 400 metres long and leads into Sandy Cove Sound situated behind the island.

Haven location Anchor according to the draft and conditions in sand. Land at the slip on the mainland shore located 200 metres to the northwest of Sandy Cove Island.
Please note

The Sound is nearly always sheltered but in easterly or south-easterly conditions waves wrap around the island and meet behind the island in the sound.




Why visit here?
Sandy Cove is a beautiful little bay at the mouth of Ardkilly Creek that shelters behind its namesake island, Sandy Cove Island. It is situated on the west shores of the Castlepark Peninsula, which itself forms the western side of the entrance to Kinsale Harbour.

The small rock ringed and grass-topped island is uninhabited except for a heard of feral goats. These have grazed upon the island’s lush green grasses for generations indicating that a reliable source of fresh water is available on the island. Over the centuries a number of ships have foundered on the rocks off the island, including the 147-ton brig Eliza that went aground on the island in 1826.

By contrast, the facing mainland shore has many large holiday homes and a tiny Sandy Cove hamlet with a permanent population of around 100. It is from here each September that the ‘Sandy Cove Island Challenge’ takes place. This is an annual open-water swimming race that has been held here since 1994 and attracts over three hundred swimmers. The swim departs from the slipway of the small hamlet, goes around Sandy Cove Island and back again to the slipway. The total distance is approximately 1,600 metres and the race has no handicapping applied and is open to all competent sea swimmers.

It is also possible to land on Sandy Cove Island. The best landing point is on some sand or shingle situated at the west end of the island facing the mainland shore and opposite the slip. Please note that Herring Gulls breed here and care should be taken by landing yachtsmen to avoid disturbing nesting birds.

From a boating perspective, the sound between the island and shore makes for a very pleasant and out-of-the-way anchorage with all-round views over the lush green countryside. Yet it is only a five-minute drive from the town of Kinsale, which can be accessed by crossing the bridge situated on the opposite side of the Castlepark Peninsula on the west side of Kinsale’s inner harbour. It is a perfect place for a vessel to swing peacefully on its chain for a few days and is a particularly good location for boats that have a young family aboard. The kids will find plenty to explore in the protected little inlet and it is also a good place to let young children loose with a 'dingy’; by anchoring in the neck of the bay the vessel will stand between them and the sea whilst being able to monitor them at all times from the cockpit.


What facilities are available?
Apart for the slip there are no facilities in the secluded Sandy Cove. There is a village at the head of the cove where a small shop will be found which serves the local population of about one hundred.


Any security concerns?
It would be unlikely that you would experience any issues at anchor in Sandy Cove.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photos with thanks to Julien Carnot, Andy Beacroft, YanoG, Graham Rabbits and Mario Luna.


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
























Aerial views of Sandycove (i)




Aerial views of Sandycove (ii)



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Add your review or comment:


Melven Macilwraith wrote this review on Oct 25th 2019:

While the chart makes it clear not to attempt the southerly entrance, the description does not, I once saw a french yacht left high and dry on the rocks after such an attempt. At low tide the depth inside the island is below 1.5m, anchor by depth sounder in other words. It must be 30 years since there was a shop in sandy cove. The swimming activity mentioned has increased recently and the entrance is divided by yellow cone buoys to create a wide lane for swimmers on the island side. While I would generally recommend Sandycove for shelter it should be left well alone in an easterly.

Average Rating: Unrated

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