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Dirk Bay

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Overview





Dirk Bay is a small bay on the southwest coast of Ireland, about twenty miles east of Baltimore and tucked into the northeast of Galley Head, in Co. Cork. It offers a secluded anchorage off a jetty on the west side of the bay.

The anchorage provides tolerable protection in westerly but also northerly conditions. It is entirely exposed to the south right around to the east. Daylight access is straightforward as there are no off-lying dangers in the west side of the bay.
Please note

The anchorage is in the west side of the bay. The eastern half of the bay should be entirely avoided as it is foul with both covered and drying dangers.




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Keyfacts for Dirk Bay
Facilities
Water available via tapSlipway available


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 vicinity

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 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
May 8th 2018

Summary

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapSlipway available


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 vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 32.500' N, 008° 56.450' W

In the anchoring area in the west side of the bay.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dirk Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 31.798' N, 008° 56.400' W
This waypoint is half a nautical mile due east of Galley Head lighthouse.


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 Dirk Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dunnycove Bay - 1.3 miles ENE
  2. Rosscarbery Bay - 1.8 miles WNW
  3. Mill Cove - 2.4 miles WNW
  4. Tralong Bay - 2.8 miles W
  5. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 3.2 miles NE
  6. Rabbit Island - 4.2 miles W
  7. Glandore - 4.4 miles W
  8. Squince Harbour - 4.4 miles W
  9. Dunworly Bay - 4.4 miles ENE
  10. Blind Harbour - 5 miles W
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dunnycove Bay - 1.3 miles ENE
  2. Rosscarbery Bay - 1.8 miles WNW
  3. Mill Cove - 2.4 miles WNW
  4. Tralong Bay - 2.8 miles W
  5. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 3.2 miles NE
  6. Rabbit Island - 4.2 miles W
  7. Glandore - 4.4 miles W
  8. Squince Harbour - 4.4 miles W
  9. Dunworly Bay - 4.4 miles ENE
  10. Blind Harbour - 5 miles W
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?


Dirk Bay is located on the west side of the entrance of Clonakilty Bay immediately to the east of Galley Head. The bay affords good anchorage in fine sand with westerly winds, abreast of a house that was formally an old coastguard station on the west side of the bay.

Convergance Point Vessels approaching from all points will see the conspicuous 37 metres high Galley Head from which the anchorage is situated just a mile to the northeast. Galley Head appears like an island from both west and east. The ruin of Dundeady Castle can be seen on the low neck that connects it with the mainland. A prominent lighthouse, a 21 metre high white tower, stands on the extremity of the headland.

Galley Head – lighthouse Fl (5) 20s 53m 23M position: 51°31.798'N, 008°57.210'W

Half a mile southwest of Galley Head, and awash at high water, is Doolic Rock. The rock is steep-to on the north and east, but foul ground extends 300 metres to the southwest of it. Half a mile to the southeast of the head are the Clout Rocks with plenty of cover for leisure vessels.



It is advisable to keep at least half a mile from the coast approaching Galley Head. With good weather, leisure craft can use the channel between Doolic Rock and Galley Head. The transit provided to clear the Cloghna Rock, is a line of bearing 320° T of the spire of Rosscarbery Cathedral. This is just open of Creggan Point situated a mile to the southeast of the cathedral, and it leads between the Doolic Rock and Galley Head in from 16 to 20 metres of water.
Please note

Wind against tide situations develop heavy seas close to the head. Strong currents are experienced off Galley Head and Doolic Rock with the ebb tide setting on to the rock with great velocity. In these circumstances it is advisable for a vessel to stay offshore.





Initial fix location From the initial fix, located half a mile due east of Galley Head light, track due north for three quarters of a mile and come into Dirk Bay along the western shoreline.



On closer approaches Dunowen Head, that marks the bay’s eastern extremity, will become conspicuous. Keep approximately 200 metres off the western headland at all times to avoid an off-lying rock. The best anchoring position is off a bungalow with a private pier situated on the western shore.



It is essential to approach Dirk Bay from the south and stay within the bay’s western side. The eastern half of the bay is foul with Carrigduff Rock. This rock covers at half-tide and dries to 1.5 metres. Carrigduff Rock has foul ground extending 200 metres to the southwest of it. Aside from this there is little in the way of leisure craft. The marked Bream Rock patch, has 7.3 metres over it on the west side of the bay and the marked submerged wreck is in 5.2 metres.



Haven location Once off the slipway, on the west side of the bay, find a nice patch of sand in depths of 4 to 5 metres and anchor off. The anchoring area has fine sand here and it provides for very good holding. Expect to see fishing buoys inshore of the anchorage.


Why visit here?
The small niche of Dirk Bay seems to have been entirely passed over by Cork’s burgeoning tourist industry. Set in a quiet remote area that is almost entirely undeveloped, it offers visitors a secluded haven in an area of unspoilt tranquillity.

Those who wish to land may do so at the slip located near the anchoring location in the west of the bay. From here there is a very pleasant walk out to Galley Head that offers extensive vistas over the bay and sea. The Normans fortified many of the promontories around the southwest coast and Galley Head is cut off from the mainland by the ancient walls of the 12th-century stronghold of Dun Deidi. In later years it went on to be an important fortress of the local O’Cowhig Clan.

Galley Head Lighthouse and station was built in 1875 during the heyday of lighthouse building, and within twenty years of its closest neighbours at Old Head of Kinsale and Fastnet. Galley Head and the Fastnet have the distinction of being two of the most powerful lighthouses in Europe. Today the lighthouse overlooks two magnificent sandy beaches, one in the northeast corner of Dirk Bay and the other, Long Strand, to the west of the head. On a sunny day and particularly with a northern wind, either of these beaches would make a very enjoyable place to land.

From a boating perspective, Dirk Bay is a highly convenient headland anchorage to wait out a tide or stop for lunch whilst making passage along the southwest Cork coastline. An overnight stay would most likely require settled conditions.


What facilities are available?
Fresh water is available from a tap on the pier, but apart from this there is nothing to be had here.


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


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photographs with thanks to Burke Corbett, Rebecca Olds, Mike Searle, Robert Wilcox, John Berry and Neville Goodman.


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

































Aerials views of Galley Head (i)




Aerials views of Galley Head (ii)




The history of the lighthouse.




A view of the Long Strand, or Castlefreke, situated at the western side of Galley Head



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