Set within an inlet at the head of a bay the anchorage offers good protection from all but strong southerly component winds where it would be subject to swell. Approaches to the general area are straightforward but the bay requires daylight access as there are some easily avoided but unmarked dangers in and around the bay.
Keyfacts for Toormore Cove
SummaryA tolerable location with attentive navigation required for access.
Position and approaches
Haven position51° 30.987' N, 009° 38.796' W
Midway between both shorelines as the direction of the cove changes from north east to north west
What is the initial fix?
What are the key points of the approach?
Not what you need?
- Carrigmore Bay - 0.3 miles SW
- Dunmanus Harbour - 1.1 miles NNW
- Croagh Bay (Long Island Sound) - 1.6 miles ESE
- Goleen - 1.6 miles WSW
- Coney Island - 1.9 miles ESE
- Colla Harbour - 2 miles E
- Long Island - 2.2 miles ESE
- Kilcrohane Pier - 2.4 miles NNW
- Schull Harbour (Skull) - 2.4 miles E
- Crookhaven - 2.5 miles SW
How to get in?Toormore Bay lies to the north-northwest of Castle Point. The bay is entered between Ballyrisode Point and Castle Point, about 1.2 miles east-southeast. It provides a good anchorage with offshore winds with excellent holding in a mixture of sand and stiff clay.
Vessels approaching this Haven may use the Crookhaven Harbour general approach directions as the anchorage lies close to Toormore’s approach path.
Toormore Cove is a small south facing anchorage set into a northern fork at the head of Toormore Bay. It is accessed through Toormore Bay situated to the north-northwest of Castle Point. Castle Point is easily identified by the ruins of a square castle set on a 12 metres high hill east of the Point. A mile to the east-northeast stands the equally conspicuous landmark ruin of Leamcon Tower on the round-topped 107-metre high Tower Hill situated on the high ground to the east of the bay
Closer in and to the west of Ballyrisode Point are the shallow rocky patches of Murrilagh, Tom Shine's Rock and Murrilaghmore that obstruct the northeast head of the bay. The alignment 093°T of Amsterdam Rock situated 400, metres south-southeast of Ballyrisode Point, and the south side of Dick's Island, a mile to the east and close to Castle Point, clears all these inshore dangers. In settled weather, it is possible to pass between Toormore and Ballydivlin Bay by cutting midway between Ballyrisode Point and the visible Amsterdam Rock. The 400-metre wide gap has a least depth of 10 metres.
Toormore Bay is entered between Castle Point and Ballyrisode Point, about 1.2 miles west by northwest. The dangers are off Ballyrisode Point, Toormore Bay’s western extremity, where foul ground extends south for nearly half a mile. The key danger is the unmarked Amsterdam Reef situated about 800 metres south from the point and awash at low water. About midway between the reef and the point is Amsterdam Rock that shows 1-2 metres above the water.
[if ]The initial fix is set in the midpoint of the mile-wide gap between Amsterdam Reef, to the northwest, and the 5-metre high Duharrig Island, to the southwest. A central course of north by northeast for just over a mile leads up through Toormore Bay to the cove.
The entrance to Toormore Cove is in the middle and at the head of the bay. On approach, the cove appears closed off by the large Carrigmore Rock situated south of the entrance. By maintaining a central path up the bay Carrigmore will open as the head of the bay is approached and reveal the entrance to the cove.
Toormore Cove is clear up the centre from any known obstructions. Continue into the cove’s entrance where there is ample deep water and maintain a central path up to about a third of the way in where the two headlands converge and it begins to become shallow.
Anchor according to draft in a mixture of sand and stiff clay that provides excellent holding. Land on any of the beaches. Quieter beaches will be found on the west, and the best road access will be found on the eastern side.
Why visit here?Toormore derives its name from the Irish An Tuar Mór a derivative of Tuair Mhóir where mór means great or big and tuar means paddock or cultivated field or pasture.
Set amidst some of West Cork’s most beautiful scenery and offering peace and tranquillity this is truly a delightful anchorage. It is the perfect place to spend a night at anchor with family or friends in offshore or settled weather.
The cove is perfect for children with a host of small enclosed and often private beaches on either side of the entrance. The head of the inlet, by contrast, opens to a wide sandy area that offers safe exploration at high water from a tender. So with the adjacent Carrigmore Bay, that may have slightly better beaches, this entire area is truly perfect for a family visit in sunny weather.
The easily accessible Altar Wedge Tomb should not be missed. This interesting Neolithic tomb sits on a small flat green area just up from the Bay’s eastern shoreline. First erected at the end of the Neolithic period, 3500–1500 BC, the wedge-shaped tomb is one of a dozen in the Mizen Peninsula. The Altar Wedge Tomb was the site of ritual practices that continued in the eighteenth century when the tomb was used as a “Mass Rock.” Constructed from local slabs its entrance is lined up with the distant Mizen Peak.
The road immediately behind the tomb offers walking potential for those keen on stretching their legs. A stroll up the road leads to The Altar Church overlooking the head of the inlet. This was built during the Famine as relief work. Toormore village is only a few minutes away and a local pub is within five minutes.
What facilities are available?There are no facilities at this remote anchorage.
Any security concerns?Never an issue known to have occurred to vessel anchored in Toormore Cove.
With thanks to:Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks to A McCarron, Andrew Wood and Burke Corbett.
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