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East Pier

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Overview





Located in the centre of Roaringwater Bay, Heir Island is immediately northwest of Sherkin Island and southwest of the mainland. It is the smallest of the three inhabited islands in the bay area it is a secluded anchorage close to its primary pier.

Located in the centre of Roaringwater Bay, Heir Island is immediately northwest of Sherkin Island and southwest of the mainland. It is the smallest of the three inhabited islands in the bay area it is a secluded anchorage close to its primary pier.

Set behind islands and the mainland, with rocky shoals breaking any seaway, the east pier anchorage offers good protection from all but very strong southerly winds. Approaches to the general area, from the north end of Baltimore Harbour or directly from Long Island Bay, are unmarked, intricate and challenging. All of this requires careful navigation in settled conditions with good visibility.



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Keyfacts for East Pier
Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBicycle hire available in the area


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
2 stars: Careful navigation; good visibility and conditions with dangers that require careful navigation.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
November 19th 2021

Summary

A good location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBicycle hire available in the area


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° 29.980' N, 009° 25.205' W

This is 300 metres east of the modern pier set on the extreme east point of the island.

What is the initial fix?

The following River Ilen Entrance Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
51° 28.575' N, 009° 26.404' W
This is set on the clearing line of bearing 230°T of Clare Island's Doonanore Castle ruins open east of Illauneana, as best seen on Admiralty 2129.


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. River Ilen directions to the anchorage are covered in the Oldcourt Click to view haven description situated upriver from Quarantine Island.


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 East Pier for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Trá Bán - 0.2 miles SW
  2. Rincolisky Harbour - 0.2 miles NW
  3. Turk Head - 0.3 miles SE
  4. Quarantine Island - 0.5 miles ESE
  5. Kinish Harbour - 0.9 miles S
  6. Castle Ruins - 0.9 miles SSE
  7. Inane Creek - 1.1 miles ENE
  8. Horseshoe Harbour - 1.1 miles SSE
  9. Baltimore - 1.2 miles ESE
  10. Horse Island - 1.4 miles WNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Trá Bán - 0.2 miles SW
  2. Rincolisky Harbour - 0.2 miles NW
  3. Turk Head - 0.3 miles SE
  4. Quarantine Island - 0.5 miles ESE
  5. Kinish Harbour - 0.9 miles S
  6. Castle Ruins - 0.9 miles SSE
  7. Inane Creek - 1.1 miles ENE
  8. Horseshoe Harbour - 1.1 miles SSE
  9. Baltimore - 1.2 miles ESE
  10. Horse Island - 1.4 miles WNW
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?
Cunnamore Pier, foreground, connecting to East Pier on Heir Island
Image: Michael Harpur


Heir Island, also known as Hare Island or Inis Uí Drisceoil, is the third largest of the archipelago of islands in Roaring Water Bay and the fourth-largest of Carbery's Hundred Isles, after Sherkin Island, Clear Island and Long Island. The island is 2.5 km long and 1.5 km wide and has a year-round population of around 25–30.


East Pier Heir Island
Image:
© jaomul External link


The modern East Pier of Heir Island connects with Cunnamore Pier, close north, which is its main access point. It provides an anchorage in 2.5 metres with 1 metre closer in to the Heir Island pier.


How to get in?
Seward approaches to Heir Island
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location. Seaward approaches and run up The Sound, from Baltimore Harbour, are covered in the Oldcourt Click to view haven River Ilen description as the anchorage lies off of its approach path.


Boats approaching Heir Island East Pier from the mouth of the River Ilen
Image: Michael Harpur


When abreast of Two Woman’s Rock prepare to break off this track but steer northwest to clear a shallow area with 1.5 metres over it that extends about 400 metres from Two Woman’s Rock. Once clear of this steer about 340°T for 700 metres to Rincolisky Harbour.


East Pier as seen from a seaward approach
Image: Burke Corbett


From the waypoint steer north first to clear a shallow area with 1.5 metres over it extending from Two Woman’s Rock. Once clear of this steer about 340° for 700 metres to Rincolisky Harbour. Prefer the mainland side of this body of water where the best water will be found keeping about 100 metres off the eastern shoreline. The East Pier of Heir Island will be seen at the island’s extreme east point.


Yacht moored off the East Pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Once abreast of the pier drop anchor according to draft. About 300 metres out and in the mainland side of the fairway where excellent holding will be found in mud. The best water, about 2.5 metres, is found off the mainland side but shallower draft vessels will find up to 1 metre closer into the Heir Island pier.

Land at the pier which along with Cunnamore pier on the opposite mainland. Steps cut into the solid rock on Heir island are the remains of the old landing pier.


Why visit here?
Heir Island, in Irish Inishodriscol or Inis an Oidhre derived from Inis Uí Drisceoil meaning 'Ó Driscol's island'. The island often goes by the name 'Hare Island' which was an accidental misspelling of Heir by an English cartographer that dates as far back as, at least, 1694. The Irish name reflects upon the powerful 15th-century Gaelic O'Driscoll clan’s dominance of the area - see Baltimore Harbour Click to view haven. It is widely believed that they had a castle on the island's most westerly point called An Dún, now called 'the doon'.

The low-lying somewhat 'T' shaped island is only 2.5 km (1.5 km2) long and 1.5 km wide and encompasses 360 acres of fertile land. Being situated less than 400 metres from Cunnamore Pier, on the mainland, it is both one of the most accessible and sheltered of Carbery’s Hundred Isles. Although the pier is located on the island's extreme eastern point the main residential area is on the opposite side of the island. This is known as Paris which is situated on the northern side of the island‘s western reach. The name is thought to be derived from a corruption of the term 'fish'-'palace' as it was here that the pilchards were pressed to make fish oil and then salted. So, the hamlet developed around it.


The Heir Island ferry coming alongside at Cunnamore pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Traditionally the islanders were fishermen and in those times the Heir had a permanent population of 400 people. They used open fishing yawls that were about 20 to 25 feet long that was also powered by oars. During the summer they also fished for lobsters and crayfish. The islanders needed to supplement their diets by farming the land and as such were sadly decimated when the famine descended on the country in the middle of the 19th-century. To this day is remembered by an annual mass held in memory of the Island’s children that either starved or died of famine-related diseases.


Island ferry approaching East Pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Yet it was to be the latter half of the 20th-century that stripped the island of most of its population. Then it was found to be too hard to make an adequate living by modern standards and many of the young emigrated to England, the USA and Australia for a better life. Now the island has a year-round population of around 25–30. There are many families that have a long island lineage, but a good proportion of the island’s 45 houses were sold in the 1960s. The islands ample abandoned ruins speak of past times when the island was home to a great deal more. As a result of the emigration, Heir Island is the least populated of the three main islands that lie off Baltimore.


Heir Island tractor
Image: Tom Allen via CC BY-SA 4.0



Today many of these houses have been restored as holiday homes that are readily taken up by people looking to unwind and take in the islands slow pace of life. An undulating road runs the full length of the island passing along the way it's sparse dotting of houses and ruins. High ground can be found at the centre of the island where magnificent views can be had out over Carbery's Hundred Isles, which flank three sides, and out northward to the Mizen peninsula and Schull's Mount Gabriel.


Sunrise Heir Island
Image: Tom Allen via CC BY-SA 4.0


The island is largely unspoiled and has a unique range of eco-systems; coastal beaches, cliffs, forest, marsh and heathland. The Gulf Stream effect keeps temperatures reasonably consistent throughout the year and creates a unique environment. The centre of the island has an extensive marsh, with a vibrant reed bed and there is a wide range of flora and fauna. Over two hundred species of wildflowers thrive here and it is home to many unusual birds as well. This all makes its 'capital' of Paris, much noted for its quaint narrow bridge, home to many well-known artists. All are drawn to the island’s breathtaking landscape and peaceful atmosphere. Their works may be seen in several island galleries.


Heir Island provides a quiet relaxing anchorage with peaceful exploration
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, this is a very protected anchorage in a place where one can feel furthest from the pressures of everyday life. The island is small enough to be easily explored by foot or on a bicycle. Those who swing on anchor here should try and eat at PizzHeiria or Heir's destination Island Cottage Restaurant. The latter is noted for its fresh catch-of-the-day served alongside local island produce, it is said to be superb. Food lovers travel from far and wide for a table but the waiting list is reported to be legendary.


What facilities are available?
The island has two piers, and a shop whose location is in the main hamlet on the west side of the island. where fresh bread made on the island is also available. Although the small island does not have a pub, it has holiday rentals, an art gallery, a sailing school, an outdoor activities camp, a permanent restaurant and an occasional restaurant located in the Sailing School. The permanent island restaurant is reputed to be very good and is by reservation only.

Heir Island is accessible by boat all year round by ferry. The main way to get to the island is via the island ferry that departs from Cunnamore point to the island's main pier 6 times a day, every 2 hours, from 8am to 6pm during the summer. Another ferry services Heir and Sherkin islands from Baltimore & Cunnamore throughout the Summer months of July and August.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a boat anchored off Heir Island.


With thanks to:
Diarmuid Minihane, Baltimore Harbour Master.




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