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Tralong Bay

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Overview





Tralong Bay is a small bay on the southwest coast of Ireland, about a mile east of the entrance to Glandore and four miles northwest of Galley Head. It offers a secluded anchorage in a remote location.

Tralong Bay is a small bay on the southwest coast of Ireland, about a mile east of the entrance to Glandore and four miles northwest of Galley Head. It offers a secluded anchorage in a remote location.

The bay is an exposed location that can only be used in northerly components or offshore winds as it is entirely open to the south. Daylight access is required to find the unmarked inlet and pass in through the rocks that are situated on either side of the entrance.
Please note

Tralong Bay is more suited to deep keel yachts than its neighbour Mill Cove which is suited to only shallow draught craft.




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Keyfacts for Tralong Bay
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

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
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.



Last modified
April 29th 2021

Summary

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 33.246' N, 009° 3.716' W

This is in the middle of the bay.

What is the initial fix?

The following Tralong Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 32.736' N, 009° 3.129' W
This is half a mile outside the bay on the 20 metre contour. A course of 320° T from here will lead up the center of the bay.


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.

  • Keeping at least a ⅓ of a mile offshore until the bay is identified.

  • Pass in steering northwestward between rocks that flank both sides of the approach.


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 Tralong Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Mill Cove - 0.4 miles ENE
  2. Rosscarbery Inlet - 1.2 miles ENE
  3. Glandore - 1.5 miles W
  4. Rabbit Island Sound - 1.6 miles WSW
  5. Squince Harbour - 1.8 miles WSW
  6. Blind Harbour - 2.4 miles WSW
  7. Castlehaven (Castletownshend) - 2.7 miles WSW
  8. Dirk Bay - 2.8 miles E
  9. Dunnycove Bay - 3.9 miles E
  10. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 5.3 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Mill Cove - 0.4 miles ENE
  2. Rosscarbery Inlet - 1.2 miles ENE
  3. Glandore - 1.5 miles W
  4. Rabbit Island Sound - 1.6 miles WSW
  5. Squince Harbour - 1.8 miles WSW
  6. Blind Harbour - 2.4 miles WSW
  7. Castlehaven (Castletownshend) - 2.7 miles WSW
  8. Dirk Bay - 2.8 miles E
  9. Dunnycove Bay - 3.9 miles E
  10. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 5.3 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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What's the story here?
Tralong Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


Tralong Bay is a small cove situated about one mile east of Goat’s Head, the eastern side of the entrance to Glandore. It is a foot-shaped inlet that extends ½ inland from its outer high cliffs. The inlet dries out to about midway and there is a slipway situated on its western side above the drying point.


Tralong Bay slipway on the west side of the inlet
Image: Michael Harpur


The outer end of the bay provides good shelter in offshore winds and good depths with 2 metres of water available 300 metres from the slip.


How to get in?
Western approaches to Tralong from Glandore harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for seaward approaches. Glandore Bay lies between Sheela Point and Galley Head, a distance of about 5¾ miles, and embraces Glandore Harbour, Rosscarbery Bay and some small inlets, of which Tralong Bay is one. The Glandore Click to view haven entry provides approach directions for this general area although from seaward Mill Cove can be difficult to identify for first-time visitors.

Vessels approaching from the west, or Glandore area, will find Tralong Bay by simply following the shoreline around from Goats Head, on the eastern shoreline of Glandore’s Harbour’s entrance, for 1-mile east-northeast. The shore between Goats Head and Tralong Bay is foul out to a distance of 200 metres practically all the way. Keeping 500 metres offshore, however, clears all dangers.


Black Rocks as seen from an eastern approach with the eastern headland behind
Image: Burke Corbett


Vessels approaching from the east should stand out from the Black Rocks, as described below, on the western side of the approach Mill Cove. Give them a wide berth as the main cluster has several outliers.


The entrance to Tralong Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix, approach the bays outer waters that are enclosed between two clusters of rocks.


Black Rocks off the eastern headland that lies between Mill Cove and Tralong Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


On the east side of the approach, between Mill Cove and Tralong, are the above mentioned Black Rocks. They are a drying cluster of rock with a plateau of low-lying outliers that stretch westward extending out about 400 metres from the headland.


Tralong Rock as seen at high water
Image: Michael Harpur


On the west side and standing 400 metres offshore of the entrance is the pyramid-shaped Tralong Rock. It extends ¼ of a mile off the west point of Tralong Bay, stands 11 meters high and has a reef surrounding it.


Outlier of the Tralong Rock showing its head
Image: Burke Corbett


The most dangerous is a shelf with 2.4 metres LAT stretching 200 metres to the southeast of Tralong Rock with a rocky head at about half that distance. Likewise, Tralong Rock has outlying rocks to the northwest between it and the shore.


Rocks between Tralong Rock and the shore showing their heads at low water
Image: Burke Corbett


As such, it is important not to cut around or inshore of very visible Tralong Rock as it has these hidden surrounding outlying rocks.


Reef at the foot of the eastern headland showing its head
Image: Burke Corbett


Give both these groups a berth of 200-metres. With a ⅓ of a mile between them and depths of over 14 metres, there is plenty of sea room and depth to avoid these dangers with good visibility. This should also be said of the eastern headland that has a reef extending out about 100 metres from its foot.


Tralong Bay opening up as seen from between its rocky outcrops
Image: Burke Corbett


From here continue in mid-channel into Tralong Bay that will become apparent. Expect to find 6 metres at the entrance, declining to 2.5 metres in the middle of the bay where depths decline abruptly soon after to the drying head of the bay.

Tralong Bay within its entrance points
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor in sand according to draft and conditions. Land on the beach or at the small drying slip on the west side of the bay.

The western shore and slipway seen at low water from the anchoring area
Image: Burke Corbett



Why visit here?
Tralong, in Irish 'Trá Long', first recorded as 'Tralang' in 1615 and variously spelt as 'Tralonge, Tralung, Tralang' down through the centuries, the bay takes its name form the sea.


Tralong beaches have been used to land boats since ancient times
Image: Michael Harpur


The name is the conjunction of words 'Trá Long'. 'Trá is the Irish word for 'beach' or 'strand' and 'long' is the Irish for a 'ship' which was a word that that was widely used in ancient times such as in the Saxon word 'lang' or Latin 'longus'. So the name 'Trá Long' means 'the strand of the ships' and the name indicates that the natural inlet has been taken advantage of to shelter vessels since ancient times. Having said this, a fair was held on the beach in bygone times and its name during this period became 'Trá an Aonaigh', 'beach of the fair'.


The beach at the head of Tralong Bay once hosted a fair
Image: Michael Harpur


But long before this, in prehistoric times, Tralong Bay was not a sea inlet at all but a low-lying woodland and a dense forest existed here as early as 7000 years ago. After the end of the Ice Age, more than four millennia ago, the forest that thrived in the valley was drowned by an inundation. Peat cores, taken from the Tralong foreshore have uncovered a peat layer that is 4 metres thick.


Tralong Bay is a drowned valley
Image: Michael Harpur


So, although hard to imagine, when surveying the pretty sea inlet you are looking at a space that was once a thick forest and you might be able to partake in an unmissable journey into deep history. Subject to the effects of the preceding winter storms there may be evidence to inspect.


The peat mass in the northwest side of the bay visible even at high water
Image: Michael Harpur


The peat mass is always readily evident in the beach in the northwest corner about 300 metres northward of the slip. But if you look closely and you will most likely be able to see the scattered branch and twig debris of the ancient forest interspersed with numerous tree boles and roots.


The long enclosed bay is ideal place to let children loose
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, Tralong provides the best of the limited protection available of the inlets along this coastline from Galley Head. It also makes for a pleasant day trip out of Glandore. Its four delightful sandy and shale beaches spread out along the shorefront make it an ideal location for a family boat to let children off the roam.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at this location save for the slip.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel in Tralong Bay.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.




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