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Dunnycove Bay

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Overview





Dunnycove Bay is a small bay on the southwest coast of Ireland situated halfway between Galley Head and on the western entrance to Clonakilty Harbour. It offers a secluded anchorage off a small slip with a path up to the road.

Dunnycove Bay is a small bay on the southwest coast of Ireland situated halfway between Galley Head and on the western entrance to Clonakilty Harbour. It offers a secluded anchorage off a small slip with a path up to the road.

The anchorage provides good protection in westerly and northerly conditions but is entirely exposed to the southwest through east to northeast. Access is straightforward as there are no off-lying dangers in the approach to the bay and it has deep water up to the shores.



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Keyfacts for Dunnycove Bay
Facilities
Slipway availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
7 metres (22.97 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
April 16th 2021

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Slipway availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 33.635' N, 008° 53.499' W

This is off the slipway in the southwest corner of the bay.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dunnycove Bay Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
51° 33.723' N, 008° 52.098' W
This is ¾of a mile out from the south side 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 and Clonakilty (Ring) Click to view haven provides for local approaches.


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 Dunnycove Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dirk Bay - 1.3 miles WSW
  2. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 1.9 miles NNE
  3. Rosscarbery Inlet - 2.8 miles W
  4. Dunworly Bay - 3.1 miles ENE
  5. Mill Cove - 3.5 miles W
  6. Tralong Bay - 3.9 miles W
  7. Seven Heads Bay - 4.5 miles ENE
  8. Courtmacsherry - 5 miles NE
  9. Broadstrand Bay - 5.1 miles ENE
  10. Blindstrand Bay - 5.2 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dirk Bay - 1.3 miles WSW
  2. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 1.9 miles NNE
  3. Rosscarbery Inlet - 2.8 miles W
  4. Dunworly Bay - 3.1 miles ENE
  5. Mill Cove - 3.5 miles W
  6. Tralong Bay - 3.9 miles W
  7. Seven Heads Bay - 4.5 miles ENE
  8. Courtmacsherry - 5 miles NE
  9. Broadstrand Bay - 5.1 miles ENE
  10. Blindstrand Bay - 5.2 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?
Dunnycove Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


Dunnycove Bay is situated on the west side of Clonakilty Bay about 3 miles to the northeast of Galley Head. It lies between Dunnycove Point and Duneen Head and has a small slip and beach in its southwest end. Steep steps and then a pathway lead from the slip to the road above. There is also a second slip in the centre of the bay at Ballycusheen, about 800 metres northward.


Dunnycove with its steps and pathway leading to the road above
Image: Michael Harpur


Clean and level, the bay affords an anchorage in depths of from 6 to 8 metres over a level area of fine sand. Protection is good with westerly winds, but it is entirely open to the southeast and east.


How to get in?
Rounding Galley Head with Dunowen Head opening behind
Image: Burke Corbett


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for seaward approaches and the directions Clonakilty (Ring) Click to view haven for local approaches. Galley Head 3 miles to the southwest of the bay makes Dunnycove position unmistakable. A conspicuous water tower stands at 107 metres and ½ a mile due west of Dunnycove, 7¼ miles northeast of Galley Head, that helps to finally position the bay from seaward.


Dunnycove Bay slip tucked in behind Dunnycove Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Vessels moving between Dirk Bay and Dunnycove Bay, a distance of 1½ miles, should note the shore is skirted by several patches of foul ground, known as Cow, Keameen, and Bellows rocks. Although all are deep they may cause disturbed water. Keeping ½ a mile off the shore clears these dangers.


Initial fix location From the initial fix the bay is less than ¾ of a mile to the west. Dunnycove Bay itself is entered between Dunnycove Point and Duneen Head located 1½ miles north-northeast and is free of obstructions.


The southwest end of Dunnycove Bay from seaward
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Anchor according to the prevailing conditions in the bay. The slip is in the southwest corner around Dunnycove Point is where the best shelter from the prevailing conditions may be found.

View up the slip from the tender
Image: Michael Harpur


Land by tender at the slip or on the beach immediately alongside. There is also the alternative slip at Ballycusheen in the centre of the bay.

Area to store the dingy above the slip
Image: Michael Harpur



Why visit here?
Dunnnycove, or in Irish Dunnycoohig, takes its name from the ancient Dún Uí Cobtaig. Dún in Irish is a fort and Cobtaig refers to the O'Cowhig clan, as such the name means 'O'Cowhig's fortress'. This name directly refers to the tower house the clan held and the ruins of it can be visited over Dunnycove Point.


Dunnycove Point where the footprint of the tower house can still be seen
Image: Michael Harpur


The name O'Cowhig, from Cobh-thachi or O'Cobhthaigh, now O'Coffey, means 'victor' or 'victorious'. The progenitor after whom the surname was called was Cobhthach Finn, son of Dunghalach, the twelfth in descent from Lughaidh Maccon. This was an ancient family who had been dynasts, chief lords, that originated as a sept of the O'Driscoll clan who held the southwest part of Carbery.


The remains of the castle (left) on Dunnycove Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Little is known of the clan save that when the Corcalee royal family subdivided and the O'Cowhigs became dominant in this eastern portion of their territory called Tricha chead meadhonach. Tricha chead meadhonach meaning 'the middle or central cantred' with the word 'cantered' being a Norman term for a subdivision of a county that would be replaced by baronies in the 16th-century. The area was later held by the Barrys when it would take the name of the barony of Barryroe and is now known as Bariyroe East and West; Barryroe corresponds to the area of coastland between Clonakilty and Timoleague.


Dunnycove Bay was once a coastguard station
Image: Michael Harpur


Being the only safe anchorage between Glandore and Ring, Dunnycove would later become the station of the western coastguard. This was part of the detachment within the district of Kinsale that in total comprised a force of 8 officers and 63 men, under the superintendence of a resident inspecting commander. But, aside from this, it has remained the very quiet out-of-the-way place that is experienced today.


Dunnycove's rocky fingers and beautiful turquoise waters
Image: Michael Harpur


Recessed between Dunnycove Point and Duneen Head, this a pretty little bay formed by a row of little indents that fall precipitously to a lower rock platform. Protected by the headland the water is very calm and on a clear day, much of the flat plateau of its sandy seabed can be seen through its transparent turquoise waters. This makes its tiny beach very popular with locals in summer and it is ideal for a spot of bathing.


Dunnycove's tiny protected beach
Image: Michael Harpur


The bay is also popular with small open angling boats from May to September when it provides a respite from the westerly Atlantic swell, along with easy boat launching off Dunnycove’s slip or at nearby Ballycusheen. Between these, there is a mixture of craggy and sandy coves where anglers regularly bring in flatfish, dogfish, bass and ray.


The view out into Clonakilty Bay from Dunnycove Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, being just a mile and a half from Galley Head, it is a very useful passage maker stopover for a lunch break or rest point whilst making passage along the coast. Its high ground also offers good protection from severe westerly weather. The bay has no facilities apart from its slips. However, those prepared to stride out will find basic provisions in the small village of Ardfield, in Irish Ard O'bhFicheallaigh meaning 'height of Feeley's', and often called Ardofoyle, a mile’s walk inland from the slipway.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at Dunnycove Bay itself, but 1 mile inland from the slipway at the village of Ardfield there is a post office, a pub, a hotel that has bar meals and a fine dining restaurant, and a golf course nearby.


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




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